In clear and engaging language, Doing Justice explains, defends, and celebrates the work of the U.S. Attorney’s office and the justice system as a whole. Despite a high-profile firing, Bharara’s unreserved deep affection for his previous office, and for the ideals he upheld while serving, is inspiring. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
By the one-time federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, an important overview of the way our justice system works, and why the rule of law is essential to our society. Using case histories, personal experiences and his own inviting writing and teaching style, Preet Bharara shows the thought process we need to best achieve truth and justice in our daily lives and within our society.
Preet Bharara has spent much of his life examining our legal system, pushing to make it better, and prosecuting those looking to subvert it. Bharara believes in our system and knows it must be protected, but to do so, we must also acknowledge and allow for flaws in the system and in human nature.
The book is divided into four sections: Inquiry, Accusation, Judgment and Punishment. He shows why each step of this process is crucial to the legal system, but he also shows how we all need to think about each stage of the process to achieve truth and justice in our daily lives.
Bharara uses anecdotes and case histories from his legal career — the successes as well as the failures — to illustrate the realities of the legal system, and the consequences of taking action (and in some cases, not taking action, which can be just as essential when trying to achieve a just result).
Much of what Bharara discusses is inspiring — it gives us hope that rational and objective fact-based thinking, combined with compassion, can truly lead us on a path toward truth and justice. Some of what he writes about will be controversial and cause much discussion. Ultimately, it is a thought-provoking, entertaining book about the need to find the humanity in our legal system — and in our society.
“Like the best lawyers (and writers), Preet Bharara tells a good war story. But Doing Justice is a great deal more — a vivid memoir of a critical job, a primer on the toughest questions of prosecutorial ethics, and a reminder of the drama inherent in life in the courtroom arena.” Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
“The former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York skillfully explains how he approached his job, offering a mixture of guiding principles and compelling anecdotes. Unlike many lawyers who write books, Bharara refreshingly avoids jargon, striking a conversational tone and regularly employing analogies and metaphors that make his points easily understandable. An engaging tour from beginning to end.” Kirkus (Starred Review)
“Bright with anecdotes from his lengthy and illustrious career, Bharara’s razor-edge judgments about punishment, procedure, outcome, and outlook address issues of governance and moral grounding that form the crux of the nature of justice. Bharara speaks with a clear, firm, and engaging voice in this essential primer about the importance of a fair and open justice system.” Booklist
“In this fascinating combination of memoir and ethical-legal manifesto, former U.S. attorney Bharara posits that “the model of the American trial has something to teach us…about debate and disagreement and truth and justice.”…His prose has the quality of a well-written speech, with philosophical pronouncements, followed by supporting tales from both his legal career and his personal life, recounted in a superbly accessible and conversational, even humorous tone,.. Bharara also reminds readers that, while the law is an incredible tool, it is people who create or corrupt justice. With its approachable human moments, tragic and triumphant cases, heroic investigators, and depictions of hardworking everyday people, this book is a rare thing: a page-turning work of practical moral philosophy.” Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
PREET BHARARA served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Bharara oversaw the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases and supervised an office of more than two hundred Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handled cases involving terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking, financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations. In 2017, Bharara joined the NYU School of Law faculty as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is the Executive Vice President of Some Spider Studios and the host of CAFE’s Stay Tuned with Preet, a podcast focused on issues of justice and fairness. Bharara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the law review.