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A remarkable work of slowed-down journalism...They are doing their jobs as journalists and writing the first draft of history. --Jill Filipovic, The Washington Post ...Generous but also damning. --Hanna Rosin, The New York Times From two New York Times reporters, a deeper look at the formative years of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation. In September A remarkable work of slowed-down journalism...They are doing their jobs as journalists and writing the first draft of history. --Jill Filipovic, The Washington Post ...Generous but also damning. --Hanna Rosin, The New York Times From two New York Times reporters, a deeper look at the formative years of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation. In September 2018, the F.B.I. was given only a week to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee. But even as Kavanaugh was sworn in to his lifetime position, many questions remained unanswered, leaving millions of Americans unsettled. During the Senate confirmation hearings that preceded the bureau's brief probe, New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly broke critical stories about Kavanaugh's past, including the Renate Alumni yearbook story. They were inundated with tips from former classmates, friends, and associates that couldn't be fully investigated before the confirmation process closed. Now, their book fills in the blanks and explores the essential question: Who is Brett Kavanaugh? The Education of Brett Kavanaugh paints a picture of the prep-school and Ivy-League worlds that formed our newest Supreme Court Justice. By offering commentary from key players from his confirmation process who haven't yet spoken publicly and pursuing lines of inquiry that were left hanging, it will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand our political system and Kavanaugh's unexpectedly emblematic role in it.


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A remarkable work of slowed-down journalism...They are doing their jobs as journalists and writing the first draft of history. --Jill Filipovic, The Washington Post ...Generous but also damning. --Hanna Rosin, The New York Times From two New York Times reporters, a deeper look at the formative years of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation. In September A remarkable work of slowed-down journalism...They are doing their jobs as journalists and writing the first draft of history. --Jill Filipovic, The Washington Post ...Generous but also damning. --Hanna Rosin, The New York Times From two New York Times reporters, a deeper look at the formative years of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation. In September 2018, the F.B.I. was given only a week to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee. But even as Kavanaugh was sworn in to his lifetime position, many questions remained unanswered, leaving millions of Americans unsettled. During the Senate confirmation hearings that preceded the bureau's brief probe, New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly broke critical stories about Kavanaugh's past, including the Renate Alumni yearbook story. They were inundated with tips from former classmates, friends, and associates that couldn't be fully investigated before the confirmation process closed. Now, their book fills in the blanks and explores the essential question: Who is Brett Kavanaugh? The Education of Brett Kavanaugh paints a picture of the prep-school and Ivy-League worlds that formed our newest Supreme Court Justice. By offering commentary from key players from his confirmation process who haven't yet spoken publicly and pursuing lines of inquiry that were left hanging, it will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand our political system and Kavanaugh's unexpectedly emblematic role in it.

30 review for The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    A very thorough recapitulation of the events of Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation. The authors have recorded an objective and (as much as possible) exhaustive rendition of the players and the events. I read through this quickly as it was well written and told gave the facts in a logical, easy to follow fashion. It was enlightening to see some followup with corroborating witnesses. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was supposed to obtain this after Dr. Ford's testimony. I doubt this was at the b A very thorough recapitulation of the events of Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation. The authors have recorded an objective and (as much as possible) exhaustive rendition of the players and the events. I read through this quickly as it was well written and told gave the facts in a logical, easy to follow fashion. It was enlightening to see some followup with corroborating witnesses. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was supposed to obtain this after Dr. Ford's testimony. I doubt this was at the behest of the Bureau but we may never know or only after the current director and his superiors are long gone. It was this promised investigation's failure to materialize which seemed improper. Anyone being seated on the Supreme Court of the United States of America should be fully investigated and all leads followed for anything which would even tend to be relevant, using a discovery standard not an evidentiary standard. It should not matter which party is in power in the Executive or the Senate for this duty of care to be employed for that Court. The authors' conclusions in the Epilogue are logical and objective. I pray Justice Kavanaugh lives up to his high calling. There is no higher office in our Country than that to which he has been called for his lifetime. Many justices have abandoned their more strident political thinking once on that bench. Let us all hope his study, contemplation and judgments are free of all political motivation, all personal implications for him and the etherial concept of "justice" through God lives through him.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Nothing new here. I personally hoped he would not get approved, but I had to put politics aside and read this book objectively. I watched the excruciating testimony and I believed Dr. Ford. But I wanted more than what I already read in articles and watched on TV. Disappointing. Also, this book is too late. It doesn’t even have enough new material that could impeach him - which would never happen anyway, and wasn’t the authors’ goal. Nothing here was explosive which unfortunately is what w Nothing new here. I personally hoped he would not get approved, but I had to put politics aside and read this book objectively. I watched the excruciating testimony and I believed Dr. Ford. But I wanted more than what I already read in articles and watched on TV. Disappointing. Also, this book is too late. It doesn’t even have enough new material that could impeach him - which would never happen anyway, and wasn’t the authors’ goal. Nothing here was explosive which unfortunately is what we crave in today’s unprecedented news cycles. The authors come to their “verdict” based on their “gut” feelings about his guilt, and the ways they do this come across as arrogant. On the plus side it was well written and thought provoking with regard to how women handle reporting- or not reporting - sexual assault. Sensitively handled, but bland. If you are looking for a biased POV that he’s a horrible person without the actual facts to back that up then you’ll like this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Owlseyes

    Here we go again.... https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/book-... Here we go again.... https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/book-...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cole

    Uncorroborated Gossip that is not worth the paper it is printed on!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This account details the behind-the-scenes events of a year ago (as I'd hoped - it was the book I was waiting for), and offered supplementary evidence that Kavanaugh was lying and that Ford was telling the truth. But: Pogrebin and Kelly conclude by explaining that - as journalists - they can never know for certain what happened between Kavanaugh and Ford, nor between Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez (the other accuser). As human beings and as women, they believe Ford and Ramirez, as do I. But we ma This account details the behind-the-scenes events of a year ago (as I'd hoped - it was the book I was waiting for), and offered supplementary evidence that Kavanaugh was lying and that Ford was telling the truth. But: Pogrebin and Kelly conclude by explaining that - as journalists - they can never know for certain what happened between Kavanaugh and Ford, nor between Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez (the other accuser). As human beings and as women, they believe Ford and Ramirez, as do I. But we may never know for certain, and yet it may not matter. I was surprised to find myself in a thought process near the end of the book in which I entertained, for a few minutes, the possibility that Ford was wrong about who assaulted her. But I'm certain (with the authors) that Kavanaugh's defensive, partisan, accusatory, hypocritical comportment and mendacious statements during his confirmation hearing were enough to convince the committee that he did not belong on the Supreme Court. This nuanced conclusion frustrated a reviewer in The Guardian who was disappointed that the book didn't offer up the smoking gun or come out with the final truth. But it's better than that.  

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Even though many people felt this was just a re-hash of what they witnessed on tv, I feel it's an important documentation for future generations who may want to revisit the history of Justice Kavanaugh. Even though many people felt this was just a re-hash of what they witnessed on tv, I feel it's an important documentation for future generations who may want to revisit the history of Justice Kavanaugh.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rick Reitzug

    This book was a bit if a disappointment. I was hoping for a deeper exploration of the high school and collegiate cultures that characterized Brett Kavanaugh's education experiences. I found that this provided very little new information that had not already been provided by various news outlets at the time of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. This book was a bit if a disappointment. I was hoping for a deeper exploration of the high school and collegiate cultures that characterized Brett Kavanaugh's education experiences. I found that this provided very little new information that had not already been provided by various news outlets at the time of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Well written, but lacking any new information for those who closely followed these events as they occurred.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    Just an FYI: my review is about the book itself and not the facts or the outcome of the hearings. With that said, it's a solid 4-stars for me. Not necessarily because I sided with it politically, because I think the book did a decent job in being an actual reportage piece into Kavanaugh's earlier life in the context of this whole dumpster-fire situation. Neutral language was used more often than not, and the book itself doesn't bring the reader to any specific conclusion. The epilogue shares the Just an FYI: my review is about the book itself and not the facts or the outcome of the hearings. With that said, it's a solid 4-stars for me. Not necessarily because I sided with it politically, because I think the book did a decent job in being an actual reportage piece into Kavanaugh's earlier life in the context of this whole dumpster-fire situation. Neutral language was used more often than not, and the book itself doesn't bring the reader to any specific conclusion. The epilogue shares the opinion of the writers; it doesn't tell the reader what they should believe, but why Robin and Kate believe what they do. Overall, I think their writing and the structure of the book in general felt very natural.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rick Wilson

    An examination of Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh’s prep school and Yale experiences as pieced together by two investigative journalists. I was amazed at how awfully the women who came forward were treated. The authors closing thoughts I think summarize my thoughts on the book very well “Ford and Ramirez appear to have been mistreated by Kavanaugh as a teenager, but in the 35 since then he’s become a better person” And while the book does a great job of presenting the multiple sides of the An examination of Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh’s prep school and Yale experiences as pieced together by two investigative journalists. I was amazed at how awfully the women who came forward were treated. The authors closing thoughts I think summarize my thoughts on the book very well “Ford and Ramirez appear to have been mistreated by Kavanaugh as a teenager, but in the 35 since then he’s become a better person” And while the book does a great job of presenting the multiple sides of the Ford and Ramirez allegations, if there is a negative to this book, it’s that it doesn’t look or show how Kavanaugh has been since.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Turns out I did not need to relive this a year later.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Larissa Anderson

    As I searched for a new “education” title on Overdrive, the library audiobook of ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’ was immediately available. Fairly hot off the presses, I was intrigued as I only barely followed this sizzling news story of 2018 while the hubs was riveted by the confirmation hearings on TV. The final line of the GoodReads summary, “essential reading for anyone who wants to understand our political system”, is a stretch. The writing was decent, albeit with still obvious bias even As I searched for a new “education” title on Overdrive, the library audiobook of ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’ was immediately available. Fairly hot off the presses, I was intrigued as I only barely followed this sizzling news story of 2018 while the hubs was riveted by the confirmation hearings on TV. The final line of the GoodReads summary, “essential reading for anyone who wants to understand our political system”, is a stretch. The writing was decent, albeit with still obvious bias even though the reporters did attempt to be even-handed in their retelling of history. The epilogue, which unleashed their official opinions was actually a sigh of release after the barely disguised presentation of “facts” for the reader to hopefully come to the same conclusions. I found the entire situation to be nauseating as it went down in 2018, and this book just compounded those feelings over a year later. Further, even only loosely paying attention to the case as it unfolded, i did not learn much new beyond dirt that elevated my frustration with the time/resources expended while the lynch mob gathered. The US has a judicial system, even if flawed. Ford was probably sexually assaulted at some time by someone - maybe even Kavanaugh or one of his prep school associates. But holding on to that story for nearly 40 years while tracking the career trajectory of someone on the other side of the political spectrum to release it only when that person almost reaches his ultimate goal is the opposite of justice. These reporters capitalizing on the prurient nature of this case are essentially gossips for hire, and I obviously bought into it (or technically the library did). The partying aspect, namely the binge drinking, of the prep school-ivy league crowd, of which Kavanaugh (and Ford) are just drops in the sea, was (is?) a significant thing. The #metoo movement and this book downplay culpability of potential victims who make themselves vulnerable by their own behavior to situations that could spiral out of control. Humanity is flawed and now more than ever, social media highlights mistakes. Public outcry seems to follow the political pendulum. As an independent thinker, all I can say is I believe the central players (both sides) in this book seem to be trying to make their world a better place, and I feel great compassion for everyone who is put under the microscope - especially when the petri dish is filled with incomplete memories often chemically altered from the onset and unlike fine wine, not better with age.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Mundy

    I found the book to be informative, but I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. I support Dr. Ford and I believe Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of everything she accused him of. Granted his character has changed since high school, I do think he was so inebriated that he doesn't remember sexually assaulting her. I would not recommend this book as I learned nothing new. I found the book to be informative, but I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. I support Dr. Ford and I believe Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of everything she accused him of. Granted his character has changed since high school, I do think he was so inebriated that he doesn't remember sexually assaulting her. I would not recommend this book as I learned nothing new.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Simon Vacca

    An in-depth look at the story that gripped the attention of a nation divided. In The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly offer an extensive peek behind the curtain at the life and times of the most recent appointee to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, as well as the highly credible allegations that were ushered forth against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez around the summer of 2018. The authors write from a perspectiv An in-depth look at the story that gripped the attention of a nation divided. In The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly offer an extensive peek behind the curtain at the life and times of the most recent appointee to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, as well as the highly credible allegations that were ushered forth against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez around the summer of 2018. The authors write from a perspective that is about as close to neutral as one can find, shying away from the world of hot takes and instead employing language that is fundamentally objective -- both in nature and in scope. The breadth of research conducted is exhaustive, as Pogrebin and Kelly unpack seemingly all of the relevant issues leading up to Kavanaugh's tenure as Supreme Court Justice. These include -- but are not limited to -- examinations of the prep-school and Ivy-League subcultures that informed Kavanaugh's education, explorations of his legal career, and reviews of matters of note from Kavanaugh's service as a U.S. Circuit Judge, among others. The authors also focus on the seriousness of the claims raised by the aforementioned Dr. Blasey Ford and Ramirez, a process that entails sleuthing through important details in the lives of each accuser, as well as unpacking the long-standing ramifications of Kavanaugh's alleged actions. Pogrebin and Kelly provide a riveting account of the Senate Judiciary Committee public hearings -- surely the page-turning chapters of the book -- and ironically echo the words of none other than Martha Kavanaugh (Brett's own mother) in formulating their conclusions: "Use your common sense." Most apparent is the authors' will to grapple with a twofold sense of duty -- the substance of which is best encapsulated from the outset of the book's epilogue. They explain: "As women, we know that sexual assaults often aren't corroborated. They often happen without witnesses, and many victims avoid reporting them out of shame or fear. But as reporters, we need evidence; we rely on the facts. Without corroboration, Ford's and Ramirez's claims would be hard to accept." They continue: "As women, we could not help but be moved by the accounts of Ford and Ramirez, and understand why they made such a lasting impact. As reporters, we had a responsibility to test those predilections. We had to offer Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt, venturing to empathize with his suffering if he was falsely accused. As mothers of daughters, we were prone to believe and support the women who spoke up. As mothers of sons, we had to imagine what it would be like if the men we loved were wrongly charged with these offenses." They conclude (spoiler): (view spoiler)[ "As people, our gut reaction was that the allegations of Ford and Ramirez from the past rang true. As reporters, we uncovered nothing to suggest that Kavanaugh has mistreated women in the years since." (hide spoiler)] Put simply, this book is mandatory reading for a more complete picture of the political bombshell that emerged amidst Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. The authors fill gaps in scholarship where needed (their overview of the credibility of Ramirez's allegations, in particular, is key) and offer some fine reporting on a new incident that almost definitely risks escaping public consciousness in the age of Trump (see the recollection of Max Stier, who allegedly witnessed an incident that was similar to the Ramirez account).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gayla Bassham

    Thoughtful tick-tock of the Kavanaugh nomination battle. Perhaps a bit too kind to Kavanaugh but in general I thought this was really valuable. I admit that -- although I would never have voted to confirm Kavanaugh for a whole host of reasons, and although I admire Christine Blasey Ford's courage a great deal -- I struggle with how accountable someone should be held for an act he committed at seventeen. (I personally oppose juveniles being sentenced as adults in any circumstance.) The problem wi Thoughtful tick-tock of the Kavanaugh nomination battle. Perhaps a bit too kind to Kavanaugh but in general I thought this was really valuable. I admit that -- although I would never have voted to confirm Kavanaugh for a whole host of reasons, and although I admire Christine Blasey Ford's courage a great deal -- I struggle with how accountable someone should be held for an act he committed at seventeen. (I personally oppose juveniles being sentenced as adults in any circumstance.) The problem with Kavanaugh is that because he has never been held accountable for anything, in any significant way, he has spent his life lying his way out of things, culminating in an astonishing, absurd set of lies to Congress that no parent would put up with from their own seventeen-year-olds. (Come on, we all know what a Devil's Triangle is. It's not a drinking game.) So I will bring this back to book -- I got off track there for a minute -- by arguing that although the authors are right to attempt to view the whole debacle with clear and unbiased eyes, I felt that they did not weight heavily enough the issues of judicial temperament that arise when a man being confirmed to the Supreme Court weeps over decades-old calendars and tries to convince the Senate that boofing is a term for flatulence. Still, I recommend the book, although I probably would have appreciated it more if I had given myself more time to calm down, as evidenced by this "review."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sera

    A solid and objective view of Kavanaugh's upbringing, school years and confirmation to the Supreme Court. If you followed these events closely as I had at the time, there's really nothing new here. It's times like this that I really appreciate my library so that I can borrow books instead of buying them. Save your money on this one unless you really don't know much about the subject. If that's the case, then this book lays out the events in a neutral manner and would be considered quite informat A solid and objective view of Kavanaugh's upbringing, school years and confirmation to the Supreme Court. If you followed these events closely as I had at the time, there's really nothing new here. It's times like this that I really appreciate my library so that I can borrow books instead of buying them. Save your money on this one unless you really don't know much about the subject. If that's the case, then this book lays out the events in a neutral manner and would be considered quite informative for readers to consider when examining the allegations that two women brought against him.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Venessa ✨

    3.5 Do I think this in-depth look at supreme court judge Brett Kavanaugh was well researched and well written? Sure. Was I ready to revisit this saga so soon after his nomination was successful? FUCK no. This shit was absolutely more enraging the second time. I didn't learn much new information than what was provided when I was following this news in real time, but if you somehow missed that circus, this book will give you all the information you need to know about how corrupt and spineless the US Re 3.5 Do I think this in-depth look at supreme court judge Brett Kavanaugh was well researched and well written? Sure. Was I ready to revisit this saga so soon after his nomination was successful? FUCK no. This shit was absolutely more enraging the second time. I didn't learn much new information than what was provided when I was following this news in real time, but if you somehow missed that circus, this book will give you all the information you need to know about how corrupt and spineless the US Republican Party is. Ending this review here before it turns into a rant about American politics, rape culture, and white privilege, but just know I wouldn't recommend picking up this book while the wounds are still fresh. Brett Kavanaugh is a liar (including under oath), expecting us to believe he's never drunk in excess in his entire life and that he doesn't know the meanings of certain sexually degrading terms that he used in the past. It's a joke. Ugh I'm so mad.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Roth

    A must read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    While this report did not shed a ton of new light on the Kavanaugh hearings, it did help crystalize the confusing events from this time and place them in a broader context. The reporters' conclusions were measured and reasonable. While this report did not shed a ton of new light on the Kavanaugh hearings, it did help crystalize the confusing events from this time and place them in a broader context. The reporters' conclusions were measured and reasonable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation (Hardcover) by Robin Pogrebin from the library Jun 19 2020 Juneteenth. I finally took the time to read and skim this book today. It looks to me like this book is more about the corrupt way the R party connived to push through this confirmation, with the attempted rape that CBF (and another victim CR) endured as a sort of subplot. The more interesting part for me is the subplot. The (attempted) rape/molestation/assault story is about 1980's colleg The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation (Hardcover) by Robin Pogrebin from the library Jun 19 2020 Juneteenth. I finally took the time to read and skim this book today. It looks to me like this book is more about the corrupt way the R party connived to push through this confirmation, with the attempted rape that CBF (and another victim CR) endured as a sort of subplot. The more interesting part for me is the subplot. The (attempted) rape/molestation/assault story is about 1980's college prepschool football parties and rape. I have written about the football party/rape trope elsewhere so I will skip it. Here I will focus on the biographical elements of this book which are pretty representative of the price women are paying for getting an education. Every woman knows a woman who has been through this. Christine's story is about how women are taught not to talk, to feel victimized, to protect their "normal" profile, to keep having a social life, to know that men are their future and not to jeopardize it, to know that their fathers are the lesson plan for their future as well as the resources for achieving their future. Also her story is about how this sets up women for PTSD, to not achieve at their level of capacity, how she is in the 20+% of women who are raped/assaulted betw age 15 and 25 who drop out/change high school or college and make an effort to not stand out, stereotype threat, AND the constant search for outlet for their fury and anxiety. "The Education Of Brett Kavanaugh" by my two guests Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. on FRESH AIR https://www.npr.org/templates/transcr... " There is another school of thought that deals with our mentality in this country around young people and our juvenile justice system. And in all 50 states, it varies a little bit state to state, but there are protections for juveniles who commit crimes and court proceedings, court documents, settlements — any sort of these legal processes that might surround a juvenile crime are kept confidential and the reason is we want to give young people a chance to reform themselves and learn from their ways and not be haunted by the mistakes of their past. ...... But just as a way of thinking about our culture and how we evaluate things that happen when a person is 17, 18 - at the very oldest, Kavanaugh might have been 19 " At what age are juveniles prosecuted as adults if they commit a sex crime??? Since today is 3 weeks into the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests let me ask, "would the outcome of the high school assault be the same if the football player had been Black?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Pretty convincing evidence that the Ramirez allegation was true (they bring up less new items related to Ford. Was sort of odd to read this back to back with "She Said" because that book covers some of these issues too and they don't always have the same new details. Pretty convincing evidence that the Ramirez allegation was true (they bring up less new items related to Ford. Was sort of odd to read this back to back with "She Said" because that book covers some of these issues too and they don't always have the same new details.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    This review may be a duplicate, since I seem unable to locate what I just wrote. A thorough review of the investigation and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, much of what is included here will be already known to many readers. But also included are many details about Kavanaugh’s high school and college days. It seems clear to me that Kavanaugh had a drinking problem, at least during those years, with binge drinking his seeming outlet from the pressure of studies and prepar This review may be a duplicate, since I seem unable to locate what I just wrote. A thorough review of the investigation and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, much of what is included here will be already known to many readers. But also included are many details about Kavanaugh’s high school and college days. It seems clear to me that Kavanaugh had a drinking problem, at least during those years, with binge drinking his seeming outlet from the pressure of studies and preparation for what he sought, which was from an early age a seat on the highest court. Kavanaugh’s drinking behavior aside, his testimony during the confirmation hearings seems to be disingenuous and intentionally misleading. And the temperament he displayed, particularly during the questioning by Senator Amy Klobuchar, does not reflect well on him. The review of the FBI’s quick and apparently shoddy investigation into allegations about Kavanaugh do not cast either the FBI or the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee in a positive light. Any readers who may still be harboring the idea that the Supreme Court and the confirmation process are apolitical will certainly be relieved of that misconception.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 stars - this book gave good context to the Kavanaugh hearings but I didn't find it quite as compelling as SHE SAID, which I read directly before this. 3.5 stars - this book gave good context to the Kavanaugh hearings but I didn't find it quite as compelling as SHE SAID, which I read directly before this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were highly contentious and highly divisive. In this book the authors take a measured look at what happened as well as who could and should be believed. Having watched the testimony of both Christine Blassey Ford and Kavanaugh, I came away thinking that Ford was a highly credible witness and that Kavanaugh did not handle himself the way a Supreme Court Justice should. It seems to me that with all of the talented people we have i The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were highly contentious and highly divisive. In this book the authors take a measured look at what happened as well as who could and should be believed. Having watched the testimony of both Christine Blassey Ford and Kavanaugh, I came away thinking that Ford was a highly credible witness and that Kavanaugh did not handle himself the way a Supreme Court Justice should. It seems to me that with all of the talented people we have in this country who could excel on the bench, why did we settle for someone with so much baggage? Was there truly no one better? While I do believe people can change and that they should not be punished for the errors of their youth, Kavanaugh's performance during the confirmation process led me to conclude he should not be on the bench of our country's highest court.

  25. 4 out of 5

    cathryn chinn

    Kavanaugh is an untreated Alcoholic on the Supreme Court The reason this is not a five star review is because I searched for and could not find any writing that looked into whether or not Brett was ever approached, counseled or referred for treatment for his apparent severe drinking problem. From early adolescence seemingly continuing, whether abated or not, alcohol usage is an integral foundational fact of his life. Every lawyer has worked with impaired lawyers, and he is no different. What a t Kavanaugh is an untreated Alcoholic on the Supreme Court The reason this is not a five star review is because I searched for and could not find any writing that looked into whether or not Brett was ever approached, counseled or referred for treatment for his apparent severe drinking problem. From early adolescence seemingly continuing, whether abated or not, alcohol usage is an integral foundational fact of his life. Every lawyer has worked with impaired lawyers, and he is no different. What a terrible burden he has carried for so long. It was only when Senator Klobuchar attempted clarification regarding his alcohol consumption that the public witnessed the degree of impairment he cannot hide. Believe me, that was the real Brett we saw, and yes, his wife has seen it before whether she admits it or not. The issue that haunts me is his decision to "sacrifice his family" in public in order to get a job that he fantasized about for years. Every lawyer who appears before him likely makes more money than he does. I suspect he made that decision to embarrass his family permanently so as to continue his pretense of "working hard" to get what he wanted and earnestly believed he was entitled to this job. The irony is that I could find no evidence of his supposed "brilliance" or even superior intellect in his writings or rulings. To me, a litigator with decades of experience reading briefs, he appears to be a run of the mill brief writer with no particular enlightenment on the issues that came before him on the court. Additionally , he held a job reviewing the work of other lawyers, a job that has been described as unbearably boring. I'm not sure he's a nice person. I didn't see it. I bet he's tired from the drinking, and he has a job where he can do two things daily: sit at a desk reading which allows him recovery time, or meet with clerks and talk when he has trouble concentrating. That, of course, leads us to wonder how much of his work output was entirely his own. This book is a frightening expose of a troubled man. The authors write that it is "problematic" to put on national television a witness with a history of drug addiction ( Leland Keyser). They are right. We saw it for ourselves watching Brett. The book is a fastidious record of a process so riddled with manipulation and deception that it will make your head hurt. It's possible nothing can be done about it, except to be grateful to the authors that they had the ability and willingness to show us that we are wandering in the wilderness. As for Brett, how sad he did not show love to his family and has permanently scarred them by his public and probably private behavior. This book will make your skin crawl.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Jackson

    The Education of Brett Kavanaugh was published in mid-2019, less than a year after the Supreme Court Justice was enduring the hearings of the nomination process that he thought would be difficult but straightforward. Not much time has passed since then even still, and yet for all the hindsight and knowledge we have now about the political, judicial and social climates of our country, I expected more from Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly in this book. It was so much a straightforward recap of the ev The Education of Brett Kavanaugh was published in mid-2019, less than a year after the Supreme Court Justice was enduring the hearings of the nomination process that he thought would be difficult but straightforward. Not much time has passed since then even still, and yet for all the hindsight and knowledge we have now about the political, judicial and social climates of our country, I expected more from Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly in this book. It was so much a straightforward recap of the events of Kavanaugh's nomination, pulling from their own previous reporting and writing, and not much of an investigation at all. At least the epilogue introduced some thoughtful tidbits to consider, but it took a whole book of repeating and restating what we already knew happened before we got anywhere. If nothing else, though, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh was a slap-in-the-face type of reminder of the shitshow our judicial nomination process went through the advent of the numerous sexual assault allegatiosn and behavioral judgments that Brett "I like beer" Kavanaugh faced. I remember watching the hearings on C-SPAN in 2018, feeling fury and anxiety and despair and hope all at once at seeing Christine Blasey Ford's face stoically and honorably telling her story. She was a beacon of women nationwide, being true to herself and her experiences while facing intense pressure (and death threats) from people who hated her, like they hate women. And then the next image: Brett Kavanaugh snarling at the Senate Judiciary Committee because they wanted to know how much he liked beer and if he'd ever blacked out. After reading this book all of those moments in that 2018 nomination process came flooding back into my head, and I found myself exasperated over and over at this book. But that was only because of my memory of it, not because of Pogrebin and Kelly's portrayal and investigation into it. In fact, the word "investigation" is generous; as I said, it was simply a retelling of what we already knew and already saw and read in the news. Some parts were interesting, the section that explained after the hearing, with how members of Congress reacted and the necessary but absolute sham of an FBI investigation; I enjoyed hearing more in-depth commentary from direct players about how that all went down. But other than that, I felt like I was reading a slightly more well-written Wikipedia article about the events. Don't get me wrong, the book was entertaining and engaging. It just wan't very insightful; it didn't offer me much beyond what I already knew and just needed a reminder of.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    A good recap and it put some things together for me. First, I believe Blasey Ford. Here's where I realized I was surprised, a little. I kind of believe Kavanaugh, too, and here's why. There's plenty of evidence and testimony that he was a binge drinker in high school and beyond. Even though he was raised to be religious and conservative and was well-connected socially, he seems to have felt awkward and resorted to his version of super-macho behavior, which included both drinking and sports He att A good recap and it put some things together for me. First, I believe Blasey Ford. Here's where I realized I was surprised, a little. I kind of believe Kavanaugh, too, and here's why. There's plenty of evidence and testimony that he was a binge drinker in high school and beyond. Even though he was raised to be religious and conservative and was well-connected socially, he seems to have felt awkward and resorted to his version of super-macho behavior, which included both drinking and sports He attended all-male schools till college, and in that venue, it was all about what the other guys thought of him, how he measured up, how he was perceived by them. Plenty of people witnessed his drinking, his bombastic, aggressive behavior, his desire to be part of the coolest group, his participation in hazing rituals. I wish I could say that preying on his female peers was a phenomenon peculiar to the 80s, but of course it's not. Every gross banner displayed in front of a frat house, every group of young men swaggering around campus yelling "No means Yes! Yes means Anal!" tells us otherwise. But I think it's entirely possible that he doesn't remember his encounter with Christine Blasey Ford. And that's because she had no meaning for him. She didn't matter. It was not a significant event in his hard-drinking, boundary pushing young life. For her, it was a central experience of her youth. For him, it was another performative escapade to impress a buddy. He didn't care about her. He wanted to show off to his friend, the one in the room with him. Afterwards it wasn't important to him. That's chilling as hell, of course. The authors point out that as Kavanaugh matured, his rough adolescent behavior seemed to get sorted out. They point out that over his career, he has encouraged women in the legal profession, although he is also reported to have requested female law clerks who "looked like models". Whatever. Politically, I think he was a bad choice for the court. Further, his behavior at the hearing was disqualifying. Apparently he'd gotten the word that Trump was wavering on him, so he came back to the committee and fought back with a disgraceful ferocity completely at odds with the behavior we should expect of a Supreme Court Justice. He was playing specifically to his boss, the president, not caring that the president isn't his boss.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'm back from a brief hiatus. In the past year, I had some difficulty reading about sex crimes. It'd ignited some previous trauma that I'd forgotten over the years. But now, I'm back. I love reading memoirs that detail investigative journalism more at-length. "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh" had been on my radar for a while, and while I was on a trip this weekend, I finally opened it up and started reading. For context, this is written by two New York Times reporters. The two reporters intervi I'm back from a brief hiatus. In the past year, I had some difficulty reading about sex crimes. It'd ignited some previous trauma that I'd forgotten over the years. But now, I'm back. I love reading memoirs that detail investigative journalism more at-length. "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh" had been on my radar for a while, and while I was on a trip this weekend, I finally opened it up and started reading. For context, this is written by two New York Times reporters. The two reporters interviewed multiple individuals who were around Deborah Ramirez, Christine Blakey-Ford and Brett Kavanaugh during their adolescence. And again, they talked to individuals who were involved in the hearings that took place during Kavanaugh's confirmation. I think it was good to wait a while to read this book. There was more perspective for me reading it now. And it was interesting to revisit in my own particular memory how I'd reacted to Kavanaugh's confirmation process, and its subsequent impact in pushing for more woman to come forward with their own stories of experiencing sexual violence. But this isn't a review fixated on the hearing themselves, but rather, what this particular book delved into. A lot of the material presented isn't particularly new, per say, but it does provide more context at-length. You learn more about Christine Blasey-Ford's world leading up to her sharing her story publicly, and you learn more about the people who surrounded Kavanaugh at the time. And you learn so much more about Deborah Ramirez, and the people around her the FBI neglected to talk to in their subsequent investigation. The reporting in itself is well-done. It's fair, and it shows a due diligence to talk to everyone involved. It's written as most news stories, so there's nothing particularly flashy about it in terms of prose. But the writing is still simple and succinct. Some readers may not enjoy how it closes. There's a want for a greater finality. I won't spoiler the ultimate conclusion it comes to in the epilogue, but I will say regardless, the entire book is worth the read to understand the context and to determine your own opinion based off of the facts that are fully fleshed out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Nagle

    What I liked: -the research that went into writing this books -found it to be very informative -great audiobook narration! What I didn't like: -I blame it on myself that I thought I would hear more about Dr Ford given that this book has BK's name in the title. I was disappointed with the lack of voice from his victims. -UGHHH I have such complicated feelings about this book!! At points I felt like it was trying so hard to make you have sympathy with BK because "he only ever made this one mistake" but What I liked: -the research that went into writing this books -found it to be very informative -great audiobook narration! What I didn't like: -I blame it on myself that I thought I would hear more about Dr Ford given that this book has BK's name in the title. I was disappointed with the lack of voice from his victims. -UGHHH I have such complicated feelings about this book!! At points I felt like it was trying so hard to make you have sympathy with BK because "he only ever made this one mistake" but like that's not good enough! I am not a BK sympathizer, I believe Dr Ford. The authors state that they will not draw any conclusions for the reader, but will just provide information. Despite this statement, I felt like they leaned very heavily on the side of BK and I found that really hard to get through in parts. I felt like I was supposed to feel badly for his wife and kids, (and I do in that I really don't think anyone deserves to receive death threats or anything, that's just low and disgusting) but as a whole I really don't feel badly for BK and his family because they sided with him and refused to hold him accountable for his actions. I don't care if you're 18 when it happened or 42, if it happened, it happened and sexual assault is sexual assault . Overall it's very informative and well written but I struggled with the fact that it seemed to lean towards his innocence, whether this was intentional or not.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael Greer

    What is the take-away from this book? I think it's all together appropriate to ask what the reader can hope to gain by engaging in this text by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. Immediately you find a conflict established at the beginning where the character in focus, BK, has a fully developed resume yet "nothing has prepared him for the perils he would face in the next weeks." Here the word "education" has a double meaning. The first sort we call conventional, even if of a higher quality than most What is the take-away from this book? I think it's all together appropriate to ask what the reader can hope to gain by engaging in this text by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. Immediately you find a conflict established at the beginning where the character in focus, BK, has a fully developed resume yet "nothing has prepared him for the perils he would face in the next weeks." Here the word "education" has a double meaning. The first sort we call conventional, even if of a higher quality than most others. The second has to do with what happens when you come under the barbarous light of media scrutiny. The Spanish Inquisition had nothing on modern trials in the court of public opinion. Reticle: the Alpha Male By page 21 we read about the seamy side of Georgetown Prep. Students might be cruel and they might be combative. Students might drink too much. Tensions might flare, and they do. "Inflammation" is already a problem for those in elite private schools. Many of the Prep boys were not sufficiently 'socialized' to handle opposite gender relationships. What's wrong with the Alpha Male in particular? They enjoy a sense of entitlement. A hierarchy places the dominant male above smaller, weaker students, girls, public school graduates, and the awkward. The dominant males picks on, dominates, bullies the lesser endowed others. A small student might be placed in a trash can for a joke. Those who are older, stronger are immune from such behavior.

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