But to characterize the book and Justice Thomas with the shallow, all-sweeping term of “angry” in an attempt to cheapen the value of the message and the man is to willfully ignore the foundational and numerous messages of hope, faith and beauty that are the soul of My Grandfather’s Son. This book is not about revenge. It is about the inoculating protection that hard work, faith and tenacity offer against the natural desire for revenge. If one man had justification for bitterness, it would be Clarence Thomas. Yet, he is not bitter for himself. He is heartbroken over a system that can destroy a man, his family and his reputation for the sake of politics.

Written for the common man, My Grandfather’s Son is anything but common. It should be required reading for every law student, every historian, every single person that truly seeks to be colorblind, impart justice or explore solutions to the inane policies and problems that threaten to strangle equal opportunity. Justice Thomas reveals how the ugliness of bigotry and racism still rob men and women of their dignity and the opportunity to thrive by the virtue of merit. Justice Clarence Thomas’ “rags to riches” story is unique in that it can enrich the soul and heart of anyone willing to take the journey with him.


Rebecca Hagelin, a vice president at The Heritage Foundation, is the author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad and runs the Web site HomeInvasion.org.