Courtroom summations by “one of America’s greatest lawyers . . . this book is better than an entire college course in Rhetoric” (Thomas Geoghegan, author of The Secret Lives of Citizens and Only One Thing Can Save Us).
A famous defender of the underdog, the oppressed, and the powerless, Clarence Darrow (1857–1938) is one of the true legends of the American legal system. His cases were many and various, but all were marked by his unequivocal sense of justice, as well as his penchant for representing infamous and unpopular clients, such as the Chicago thrill-killers Leopold and Loeb; Ossian Sweet, the African American doctor charged with murder after fighting off a violent, white mob in Detroit; and John T. Scopes, the teacher on trial in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.
Published for the first time in 1957, Attorney for the Damned collects Darrow’s most influential summations and supplements them with scene-setting explanations and comprehensive notes by Arthur Weinberg. Darrow confronts issues that remain relevant over half a century after his death: First Amendment rights, capital punishment, and the separation of church and state. With an insightful forward by Justice William O. Douglas, this volume serves as a powerful reminder of Darrow’s relevance today.
“Clarence Darrow [was] perhaps the most effective courtroom opponent of cant, bigotry, and special privilege that our country has produced . . . The ghastly comedy of his deadpan interrogation of William Jennings Bryan on the origin of man in the Scopes case is particularly recommended.” —The New Yorker
“More illuminating as well as more dramatic than anything that has yet appeared about [Darrow].” —Herald Tribune Book Review