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The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America's Most Powerful Trial Lawyer

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The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America's Most Powerful Trial Lawyer Cover

ISBN13: 9780307460714
ISBN10: 0307460711
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Over the past four decades no reporter has critiqued the American South with such evocative sensitivity and bedrock honesty as Curtis Wilkie.”

—Douglas Brinkley

 

The Fall of the House of Zeus tells the story of Dickie Scruggs, arguably the most successful plaintiff's lawyer in America. A brother-in-law of Trent Lott, the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Scruggs made a fortune taking on mass tort lawsuits against “Big Tobacco” and the asbestos industries. He was hailed by Newsweek as a latter day Robin Hood, and portrayed in the movie, The Insider, as a dapper aviator-lawyer. Scruggs’ legal triumphs rewarded him lavishly, and his success emboldened both his career maneuvering and his influence in Southern politics--but at a terrible cost, culminating in his spectacular fall, when he was convicted for conspiring to bribe a Mississippi state judge. 

 

Here Mississippi is emblematic of the modern South, with its influx of new money and its rising professional class, including lawyers such as Scruggs, whose interests became inextricably entwined with state and national politics.

 

Based on extensive interviews, transcripts, and FBI recordings never made public, The Fall of the House of Zeus exposes the dark side of Southern and Washington legal games and power politics: the swirl of fixed cases, blocked investigations, judicial tampering, and a zealous prosecution that would eventually ensnare not only Scruggs but his own son, Zach, in the midst of their struggle with insurance companies over Hurricane Katrina damages. In gripping detail, Curtis Wilkie crafts an authentic legal thriller propelled by a “welter of betrayals and personal hatreds,” providing large supporting parts for Trent Lott and Jim Biden, brother of then-Senator Joe, and cameos by John McCain, Al Gore, and other DC insiders and influence peddlers.

 

Above all, we get to see how and why the mighty fail and fall, a story as gripping and timeless as a Greek tragedy.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

CURTIS WILKIE graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1963. He was a national and foreign correspondent for the Boston Globe for twenty-six years. Wilkie is the author of Dixie and coauthor of Arkansas Mischief. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Oxford where he teaches journalism and is a fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss.

From the Hardcover edition.

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RonB, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by RonB)
Curtis Wilkie's latest book is based on his personal relationship with Dickie Scruggs or 'Zeus', a term of endearment used by close friends. The epic tale is set in the ever incestuous, corrupt state of Mississippi where Dickie skillfully uses his connections and friendships throughout the state to rise from a young, rural plaintiff's lawyer to one of the most successful trial lawyers in America. Unfortunately, private jets, multiple houses, and yachts were not enough and Dickie's quest to acquire even more led to the 'Fall of the House.' The story is so captivating and interesting that one might forget it is non-fiction. And, this is not a 'law book' to be read only by attorneys; it is simply an excellent piece of American history written by one of the South's most talented writers.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307460714
Author:
Wilkie, Curtis
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Biography-Lawyers and Judges
Subject:
Biography
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8 x 5.14 x 0.88 in 0.66 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Lawyers and Judges
Business » Business Law
History and Social Science » Law » Biographies and Memoirs
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

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