Justice Lewis Powell had a defining hand in shaping the outcome in Roe v Wade, issued by the Supreme Court in January 1973.  Powell was assisted in his work on Roe by his law clerk at the time, Larry Hammond.

I show in the book January 1973 that Hammond played a key role in suggesting the "viability" standard that remains the law of the land--holding that states cannot prohibit abortions before roughly the end of the 6th month, based on the life or potential life of the fetus.

This week, Larry Hammond sent me a letter about the book.  He wrote:

"The book is simply terrific.  The scholarship and care that went into this story are both obvious and extremely impressive.  Weaving the major themes of January 1973 together is itself an extraordinary accomplishment.  Accomplishing all of this with occasional spikes of sarcasm and humor, made the book even more entertaining.

"There is much in the White House tapes that I had not encountered; there are even parts of the Roe v Wade story that I do not think I ever knew.  It was a great education all the way around."