Synopses & Reviews
“Wonderfully evocative… Donald McRae captures the Great Defender in all his complexity.... A joy to read.” — Kevin Boyle, National Book Award-winning author of Arc of Justice
"Astonishingly vivid." —James Tobin, Award-winning author of Ernie Pyles War
The story of the three dramatic trials that resurrected the life and career of Americas most colorful—and controversial—defense attorney: Clarence Darrow. Many books, plays, and movies have covered Darrow and the trials of Leopold and Loeb, John T. Scopes, and Ossian Sweet before: Geoffrey Cowans The People v. Clarence Darrow; Simon Baatzs For the Thrill of It; Kevin Boyles Arc of Justice; Meyer Levins Compulsion and the film adaptation of the same name; Inherit the Wind; but few, if any, have achieved the intimacy and immediacy of Donald McRaes The Great Trials of Clarence Darrow.
One of the most famous, if controversial, lawyers in America, defense attorney Clarence Darrow was sixty-seven years old in 1924. His reputation was in tatters after a scandalous trial in Los Angeles and his life and career appeared almost over. Then, in rapid succession, he found himself at the forefront of three remarkable courtroom dramas. Each was dubbed "the Trial of the Century" by the press: the trial of teenage Chicago "thrill killers" Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb; Tennessee's infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, later immortalized in the play Inherit the Wind
; and the incendiary case of Ossian Sweet, an African American man accused of murder while defending his Detroit home against a white mob.
In The Great Trials of Clarence Darrow, award-winning author Donald McRae re-creates these momentous courtroom battles with breathtaking vividness—and offers a compelling, intimate, and unforgettable portrait of a true American icon.
About the Author
Donald McRae is the acclaimed author of five nonfiction books, including Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart and Heroes Without a Country: America's Betrayal of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. He is the only writer to have won the William Hill UK Sports Book of the Year Award twice. In 2005 he was named Feature Writer of the Year for his work in The Guardian. McRae lives near London with his family.