The Bretheren

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Hardcover: 467 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (1979)
ISBN: 0671241109

Buy The Brethren At

In Washington on most Friday afternoons, nine men gather together in a private room to decide some of the nation’s most important disputes. This weekly conference of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court is probably the most important regular meeting in the country — and the most secret.

The Brethren is the first detailed behind-the-scenes account of the Supreme Court in action. Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong have pierced its secrecy to give us an unprecedented view of the Chief and Associate Justices — maneuvering, arguing, politicking, compromising, and making the decisions that affect every major area of American life. The Brethren is a spellbinding account of the Court’s landmark decisions of the past two decades — on the death penalty, the busing of school children, the release of Nixon’s tapes, abortion, obscenity — and a remarkable portrait of the men who made the decisions.

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Cover of Newsweek


“Superb…Without question the most penetrating and intimate study of the inner workings of the Supreme Court ever to appear in print.” -John Barkham Reviews

“Fascinating. The pace is swift, with details that rivet the attention.” -Washington Post Book World

“A provocative book about a hallowed institution, the U.S. Supreme Court…It is the most comprehensive story ever written of the most important court in the world. For this reason alone it is required reading.” -Business Week

“It is to the credit of Woodward and Armstrong that they were willing — and able — to shatter this conspiracy of silence. It is certainly in the highest tradition of investigative journalism to expose the realities of institutions that affect our lives as greatly as the Supreme Court does.” -Saturday Review

“Explosive . . . the most controversial book on the Supreme Court yet written” -Los Angeles Times

“One hell of a reporting achievement” – Nat Hentoff, Village Voice


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