Fundamental Cases

  • by Alan M. Dershowitz
  • Narrated by Alan M. Dershowitz
  • 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The courtroom trial has fascinated human beings from the beginning of recorded history. Trials are theater, trials are history, and the great trials of the 20th century and beyond provide a unique window into American history and the sense of America's enduring commitment to law.It was Alexis de Tocqueville who, when he visited the new republic for the first time, said that America was a unique country when it comes to law. Every great issue eventually comes before the courts.With this in mind, esteemed professor and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz looks at history through the prism of the trial, because a trial presents a snapshot of what's going on in a particular point in time of the nation's history.What's a great trial? People will often say the trial of the moment. But those trials are often not enduring. The focus of this course is on landmark trials and the important, dramatic aspects of the history of the time in which they occurred.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I'd rather be able to rate each section.

This is a book that has 5 star segments and 1 star segments. A better title is "Dershowitz talks about cases he finds interesting," but that's not bad in and of itself. Any legal scholar does that to some extent. And when he stops to talk actually about law, he offers some really interesting points, what I think of as the best kind of ideas, the ones that give you new ways to think about things, or help you focus why you disagree. However, a considerable portion of the lecture is also dedicated to "Dershowitz retries cases," which is at best dull, and at worst a cheap act of dirty pool, specifically at the points where it's plain he's just trying to win a lost case by turning around public opinion. The historical parts are about average, where his analysis is solid if a bit unremarkable. So, listen, but feel free to skip parts.
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- Amazon Customer

Good lecture series.

Let me start off by saying im a republician and my views are right of center. I knew going into this book that the author was left of center without being etreme so I prepared myself for the inevidable differences of opinion. Alan Dershowitz certainly interjects his opinion throughout the lectures. Nowhere is this more evident then in the section about Bush v. Gore. Mr. Dershowitz deals exclusively with the 5 - 4 decision to halt the recount but doesnt go into the courts rationale for it. Additionally no mention is made of the 7 - 2 decision in the same opinion which clearly ruled that there was a violation of the equal protection clause.

Also, Mr. Dershowitz lists the retrial of Klaus von Bulow as one of the great trials ( Mr. Dershowitz was the appeals lawer for Bulow ) I would have thought the Jack Ruby trial or the Al Capone trial more significant.

Alan Dershowitz is one of the greatest lawyers / educators alive. His lecture series is highly entertaining as well as informative. Buy this audiobook
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- Alan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-18-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books