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Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damnedby John A. Farrell
Synopses & Reviews
Drawing on untapped archives and full of fresh revelations, here is the definitive biography of America’s legendary defense attorney and progressive hero.
Clarence Darrow is the lawyer every law school student dreams of being: on the side of right, loved by many women, played by Spencer Tracy in Inherit the Wind. His days-long closing arguments delivered without notes won miraculous reprieves for men doomed to hang.
Darrow left a promising career as a railroad lawyer during the tumultuous Gilded Age in order to champion poor workers, blacks, and social and political outcasts against big business, Jim Crow, and corrupt officials. He became famous defending union leader Eugene Debs in the landmark Pullman Strike case and went from one headline case to the next—until he was nearly crushed by an indictment for bribing a jury. He redeemed himself in Dayton, Tennessee, defending schoolteacher John Scopes in the “Monkey Trial,” cementing his place in history.
Now, John A. Farrell draws on previously unpublished correspondence and memoirs to offer a candid account of Darrow’s divorce, affairs, and disastrous finances; new details of his feud with his law partner, the famous poet Edgar Lee Masters; a shocking disclosure about one of his most controversial cases; and explosive revelations of shady tactics he used in his own trial for bribery.
Clarence Darrow is a sweeping, surprising portrait of a legendary legal mind.
From the Hardcover edition.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
The definitive biography of Clarence Darrow, the brilliant, idiosyncratic lawyer who defended John Scopes in the “Monkey Trial” and gave voice to the populist masses at the turn of the twentieth century, thus changing American law forever.
Amidst the tumult of the industrial age and the progressive era, Clarence Darrow became America’s greatest defense attorney, successfully championing poor workers, blacks, and social and political outcasts, against big business, fundamentalist religion, Jim Crow, and the US government. His courtroom style—a mixture of passion, improvisation, charm, and tactical genius—won miraculous reprieves for men doomed to hang. In Farrell’s hands, Darrow is a Byronic figure, a renegade whose commitment to liberty led him to heroic courtroom battles and legal trickery alike.
About the Author
JOHN A. FARRELL wrote the acclaimed Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century. He was the Washington editor of the Boston Globe and D.C. bureau chief of the Denver Post. He lives in Washington, D.C.
From the Hardcover edition.
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