Thomas says he came to realize, "I had been raised by the greatest man I have ever known." His book is so moving because it is partly an unrequited love story between the two men, whose stubbornness and insecurities kept them from ever truly reconciling after various blowups and sleights.
Thomas' pride was a key to his slow turn from radicalism to the right. His accomplishments and his reputation were paramount to him. When he graduated from Yale Law School, he realized that when he went on job interviews people assumed he wasn't as talented as his peers because of affirmative action. White liberals had cheapened what he had worked so hard for; he took a 15-cent sticker from a cigar and stuck it to his Yale diploma to symbolize its true worth.
Thomas is painfully honest about his struggles in this book: the drinking, the broken marriage, the debt, the despair that had him contemplating suicide even as he ascended in Washington. He constantly worried that he had exposed himself too much by being frank about his conservative views, and when the first President Bush nominated him to the Supreme Court, he was filled with dread. He feared his political enemies would stop at nothing.
He was right. But the ordeal drove him to the Christian faith of his grandparents, making him more than ever his grandfather's son. This is a great American story, written by an extraordinary man.