There is no more powerful, detested, misunderstood African American in our public life than Clarence Thomas. Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas is a haunting portrait of an isolated and complex man, savagely reviled by much of the black community, not entirely comfortable in white society, internally wounded by his passage from a broken family and rural poverty in Georgia, to elite educational institutions, to the pinnacle of judicial power. His staunchly conservative positions on crime, abortion, and, especially, affirmative action have exposed him to charges of heartlessness and hypocrisy, in that he is himself the product of a broken home who manifestly benefited from racially conscious admissions policies.
Supreme Discomfort is a superbly researched and reported work that features testimony from friends and foes alike who have never spoken in public about Thomas before—including a candid conversation with his fellow justice and ideological ally, Antonin Scalia. It offers a long-overdue window into a man who straddles two different worlds and is uneasy in both—and whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.
About the Author
Kevin Merida is an associate editor at the Washington Post. In 2000 he was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and prizewinning Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas. He lives in Maryland.
Michael Fletcher is the senior pastor of Manna Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and leads Grace Churches International, a network of 189 churches in 43 countries. Since Michael became pastor of Manna in 1985, it has grown from 350 to 4,000 active members. He has a passion to see other pastors step beyond their current leadership barriers and see their churches become all God intends for them. He and his wife, Laura, have eight ???world changers??? and make their home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Advance Praise for Supreme Discomfort:
“Clarence Thomas, even as the quiet justice, is a clanging symbol of politics and race in our time. I can’t think of two writers I’d rather have cut through the cacophony of the Thomas mythology than Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher. In Supreme Discomfort, they have found the divided soul that divides a nation.” —David Maraniss, author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton
“Scrupulously fair and endlessly entertaining. Supreme Discomfort by Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher is the definitive work on the Supreme Court’s most elusive—and fascinating—personality.” —Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Run of His Life and Too Close to Call, legal affairs analyst for CNN, and staff writer at The New Yorker.
“An engrossing biography of a conflicted man . . . [Merida and Fletcher] have done a superb job with this both harsh and sympathetic life of Clarence Thomas . . . an unflinching look at success and race in America.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)