SUMMARY The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR's Washington ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF

John Frush Knox ¿ 8 SUMMARY

The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR's Washington

Dream position continually fears for his job under the notoriously rude and nakedly racist justice But he soon develops close relationships with the justice's two black servants Harry Parker the messenger who does everything but breathe for the justice and Mary Diggs the maid and cook Together they plot and sidestep around their employer's idiosyncrasies to keep the household running while history is made in the CourtA substantial foreword by Dennis Hutchinson and David Garrow sets the stage and a gallery of period photos of Knox McReynolds and other figures of the time gives life to this engaging account which like no other recaptures life in Washington DC when it was still a genteel southern to This is a fun book to read Knox's story flows well and keeps your interest I n

CHARACTERS The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR's Washington

My name will survive as long as man survives because I am writing the greatest diary that has ever been written I intend to surpass Pepys as a diaristWhen John Frush Knox 1907 1997 wrote these words he was in the middle of law school and his attempt at surpassing Pepys part scrapbook part social commentary and part recollection had already reached 750 pages His efforts as a chronicler might have landed in a family attic had he not secured an eminent position after graduation as law clerk to Justice James C McReynolds arguably one of the most disagreeable justices to sit on the Supreme Court during the tumultuous year when President Franklin D Roosevelt tried to pack the Court with justices who wo This is an interesting story if you have an interest in Supreme Court history

DOWNLOAD ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ¿ John Frush Knox

Uld approve his New Deal agenda Knox's memoir instead emerges as a record of one of the most fascinating periods in American history The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox edited by Dennis J Hutchinson and David J Garrow offers a candid at times naïve insider's view of the showdown between Roosevelt and the Court that took place in 1937 At the same time it marvelously portrays a Washington culture now long gone Although the new Supreme Court building had been open for a year by the time Knox joined McReynolds' staff most of the justices continued to work from their homes each supported by a small staff Knox the epitome of the overzealous and officious young man after landing what he believes to be a John Knox was law clerk to Supreme Court Justice James McReynolds in the mid 1


7 thoughts on “The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR's Washington

  1. says:

    This is an interesting story if you have an interest in Supreme Court history and how it operated nearly 100 years ago very different from today If you have no interest in that you would likely find this book boring


  2. says:

    A nondescript ambitious young man with a vivid man crush on Willis Van Devanter John Knox had the misfortune of serving for a year as the law clerk for the most odious Supreme Court justice of all time James C McReynolds This is his memoir of that year Though one would expect a memoir about living with one of the nastiest men of all time to be replete with daily anecdotes of horror this remains pretty safe and sane The most hilarious revelation is how Justice McReynolds took a bath every morning and deliberately noisily splashed the hell out of the entire bathroom inch of water on the floor etc whereupon his black cleaner held her nose and spent hours cleaning it up This to me held the key to his entire personality he derived pleasure only from schadenfreude and little elseKnox had the good luck to be clerking for McReynolds in 193637 when FDR's court packing plan was posing an active threat to national stability and Chief Justice Hughes began opting for a sane approach to congressional action much to McReynolds' dismay Some of the back room insights Knox gives here are of historical interest but again it's all infused with his nondescript personality and prose style The memoir ends with Knox getting canned by McReynolds a predictable development and a first attempt to pass the bar Little hint is given that despite his against all odds achievement of this clerkship Knox would spend his life a dismal failure finally attempting to recoup some self worth with this memoir later in life One wonders whether that sad trajectory was actually set by his attempts to network with the very elderly and dying Justice Cardozo was another of his man crushes and hooking up a job with the arguably the worst reference in Supreme Court history


  3. says:

    This strange idiosyncratic work was rescued from obscurity and prepared for popular release by notable academics Garrow and Hutchinson I can't imagine what the original version of this memoir looked like Knox's eye for detail is keen but his weird awkward prose style certainly isn't and even at 260 pages it seems a bit on the long side There's some hilarious stuff in here ranging from James Pussywillow McReynolds' stubborn resistance to modern times eg he believes that wristwatches on men are an effeminate affectation and he refuses to let Knox wear his green visor while he works to fame obsessed Knox's intense self absorption as well as a fine account of perhaps the most critical period in the Court's history Knox's description of DC society in the 30s is also fascinating although his insecurities begin to wear on the reader by the end of the book Was it any surprise that this man who seems utterly unable to impress anyone despite a top flight education failed as miserably at the rest of his adult life as he did at taking the bar examination which he somehow managed to fail three times again in spite of that top flight education? This isn't a great book by any means but it's likely to be the best and most absorbing portrait of Justice McReynolds that will ever emerge I wouldn't recommend it for people who don't care about legal history but for those who do it's a gossipy amusing trifle


  4. says:

    John Knox was law clerk to Supreme Court Justice James McReynolds in the mid 1930s when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to add members to the court to eliminate the stranglehold of conservative justices who kept blocking his New Deal initiatives Knox's diary which wasn't published until after his death is a fascinating look at life in the nation's highest court and the political struggles of the Depression As with all diaries there are places that drag because of the sheer weight of uotidian detail But Knox had a good sense of what created interesting stories and some of the best parts of the diary aren't about the court's decisions but about McReynold's haughty and demanding personality and his interactions with a household staff of two longtime African American employees


  5. says:

    This is a fascinating book It reads like an historical fiction Say Dan Gutman's Justice McReynolds and MeIt's weird because Knox is so ineffectual and the Justice is so distant that even though things are happening it seems like Knox is really just hanging out Sometimes he gets awfully glum and keeps talking an irreparable break but it looks like McReynolds wound up with only one problem with KnoxStill there is a lot of interest in the book because the minor details are so timeboundWhat strange people And how close they were to the center of the hottest politicallegal issues of their times


  6. says:

    This is a fun book to read Knox's story flows well and keeps your interest I never thought I would be so fascinated by the memoir of a Supreme Court ClerkActually I really identify with him Knox is endlessly fascinated by the people and things around him yet he has a bit of difficulty fitting into society That's something that hits very close to home with me and it's rare that people like that have memoirs published


  7. says:

    A man crippled by incredible insecurites clerks for Supreme Court Judge Reynolds during FDR's attempt to pack the court to pass his New Deal legislation If you want the scoop on the inner workings of the court or the social scene in 1930 this book will fit you well


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