Robert H. Bork, my friend of nearly forty years, slipped away shortly before Christmas 2012. He is still so very much with us that it is hard to accept he is gone. We are, then, very grateful that he left behind the following account of his time as solicitor general of the United States. His is a memoir of, to use Wordsworth’s phrase, many “battles long ago,” told with deep respect for the truth and punctuated with the legendary wit of this great and good man.

The solicitor general conducts the federal government’s litigation in the Supreme Court. Robert Bork took office at the end of June 1973. With the Court in recess, the summer is usually the quietest time of year for the Office of the Solicitor General.

But far from peace and quiet, Robert Bork, fresh from his professorship at Yale Law School, found himself thrust into the midst of a political maelstrom. Two weeks after Bork arrived in Wa ...