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Now, John A. Farrell draws on previously unpublished correspondence and memoirs to offer a candid account of Darrow's divorce, affairs, and disastrous finances; new details of his feud with his law partner, the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.
"A completely engaging portrait of a flawed man of noble ideals." (Booklist)
"[This is] vintage Darrow, inspiring, enraging, and, in Farrell's engrossing biography, marvelously alive." (The New York Times)
"John A. Farrell, with access to previously unavailable materials, brings the 'grandest legal career in American history' to life again in a masterfully researched and elegantly written volume." (The Boston Globe)
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The Champion of the poor
- CHET YARBROUGH