Preet Bharara on the Rule of Law

Preet Bharara on the Rule of Law


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Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, gained national attention when President Trump abruptly fired him from that job in March 2017. Since then he has been a vocal critic of the president — but his first book, “Doing Justice,” avoids the subject in favor of a broader look at the American judicial system. “I have Twitter to talk about the president and his daily machinations,” Bharara tells Pamela Paul on this week’s podcast. “But if I was going to sit down and write a full volume about justice and what I’ve been doing for much of my adult life, I wanted it not to be just about Trump, Trump Trump Trump, because I think we do that too much sometimes. It’s important to take a step back and talk about first principles. What makes justice work, what makes justice happen, what makes justice not work? What does truth mean, as opposed to truth not being truth? What are real facts as opposed to alternative facts? And then you compare what the right way of doing things is to how far we’ve fallen, I think, from the ideal.”

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Doug Jones, the Democratic senator from Alabama, visits us this week to discuss his new memoir, “Bending Toward Justice.” The book unites Alabama’s past and present by recalling the 1963 Birmingham church bombing and describing Jones’s 2017 race for the Senate.

Also on this week’s episode, Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Dwight Garner, Parul Sehgal and Jennifer Szalai talk about the books they’ve recently reviewed. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed by The Times’s critics this week:

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.



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