This well written book is an admiring study of Harry Blackmun's tenure on the Supreme Court. The author, Linda Greenhouse, is the New York Times reporter assigned to Supreme Court coverage, and is known well for her excellent articles on the Court. This book has the strengths and weaknesses of high quality journalism. Greenhouse developed this book from the extensive personal materials deposited by the Blackmun family in the National Archives after Justice Blackmun's death. Greenhouse's goal is to give a portrait of Blackmun as a working Justice, how his attitudes towards important issues evolved over the course of his tenure on the Supreme Court, to explore the background of some particularly important decisions, especially the Roe v. Wade decision, and to provide some information about the nature of work in the Supreme Court as a whole. This is not a systematic biography or legal history, nor does this book include close analysis of any of the major issues coming before the court during Justice Blackmun's tenure. On its own terms, this is an excellent book. Greenhouse begins with a nice precis of Blackmun's life prior to his appointment to the Court, then covers his initial adjustment to the role of Supreme Court justice. While some of Blackmun's important positions, his opposition to capital punishment for example, have roots early in his career, the evolution of Blackmun's views under the pressure of having to make important decisions about relatively unfamiliar topics emerges very well. Greenhouse presents Blackmun as an intelligent, diligent, and decent man often struggling with issues outside his prior personal and professional experience. His perspective on a number of issues, notably women's rights and capital punishment, changed significantly over the course of his tenure on the Court, often exhibiting a leftward drift as the Court as a whole moved to the right with Reagan era appointees. Greenhouse has an enlightening discussion of Roe v. Wade, emphasizing that the decision was not particularly controversial within the Court but pointing out that Blackmun's rationale, his emphasis on the importance of physician-patient relations, was attacked from both the right and the left. Greenhouse is enlightening also on the nature of decision making within the Court, emphasizing the importance of interaction and collegiality among the Justices. Chief Justice Warren Burger, Blackmun's childhood friend from whom he became estranged during their service on the Supreme Court, comes across as an unsuccessful Chief on the basis of poor leadership of the Court and his inability to separate personal feelings from professional disagreement. With Chief Justice Rehnquist, on the other hand, he enjoyed a cordial relationship despite many juicidial disagreements. It would have been nice to have more context, specifically more technical legal context, as background for the discussion of some of Blackmun's opinions, but then this would have been a considerably longer and less personal book. Blackmun will eventually have a major biography, and given the extensive materials he left behind and the many controversies before the Court during his tenure, this will probably be an enormous book. In the interim, this warm study is a nice introduction to Blackmun and the internal workings of the Court.