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Philip S. Beck Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, Chicago. Best book: A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson (Random House). “Bryson’s book is a sweeping survey of scientific subjects ranging from quantum physics to heredity. It is written for people like me-an enthusiastic layperson with an interest, but no training, in science. Bryson does a great job of explaining scientific theories while weaving in amusing stories about the accomplishments and foibles of the men and women who fought the scientific battle.” Dennis W. Archer Member, Dickinson Wright, Detroit. Best book: Supreme Justice: Speeches and Writings, Thurgood Marshall, J. Clay Smith Jr., editor (University of Pennsylvania Press). “I am in an historic position as the first person of color to be president of the American Bar Association. Supreme Justice recounted the challenges that attorney Thurgood Marshall went through when he was working on all of the cases in his practice of law that led up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision.” Diane C. Yu Chief of staff at New York University; chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. Best book: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (Harcourt). “What I loved about it was its intoxicating and original vision, unforgettably etched images, and superb use of the English language. It was a revelation on every page, and leaves the reader both scratching one’s head and feeling very satisfied at the same time.” Griffin B. Bell Partner, King & Spalding, Atlanta; former U.S. attorney general. Best book: The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, by Stephen E. Ambrose (Doubleday). “It was an engrossing book about leadership.” Morgan Chu Partner, Irell & Manella, Los Angeles. Best book: The Middle East-A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years, by Bernard Lewis (Simon & Schuster). “Nothing is more difficult or important than achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East. To achieve peace, nothing is more important than understanding the Middle East and its history.” Morris S. Dees Jr. Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Ala. Best book: Fairy Tales Can Come True: How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny, by Rikki Klieman (Regan Books). “It’s just an uplifting story of a woman who had a lot of guts and courage.” Linda A. Fairstein Former head of the Sex Crimes Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office and author of The Kills (coming out in January 2004). Best book: The Group, by Mary McCarthy (Harcourt Harvest Book paperback). “I first read the book in 1963 when it was published, and it’s a wonderfully perceptive and witty story, following eight Vassar graduates through the early years of their adult lives. It’s one of the reasons I chose to go to Vassar myself. At that time, I was an English literature major, dreaming of a career as a writer before ever thinking about going to law school. After 30 years as a prosecutor, I picked up The Group again to see how it held up after 40 years, and was delighted to find that it was even better this time around. It’s a brilliant satire, and McCarthy sharpens her pen on everything from feminist idealism to post-World War II social history to sexual mores. I read loads of crime fiction to keep current in the genre, and a lot of historical biography, but this was a joyful rediscovery of a fictional gem.” Floyd Abrams Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, New York. Best book: Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas, by Bruce Allen Murphy (Random House). “A biography of Justice Douglas that shows that Douglas was a distasteful human being and yet still a memorable jurist. It’s well written. There is a lot of new material in it. It’s a good read for any Supreme Court aficionado.”

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