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Drawing on untapped archives and full of fresh revelations, here is the definitive biography of America's legendary defence attorney and progressive hero.
John A. Farrell is the author of the highly acclaimed Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Book World Rave of the Year. He is a senior writer at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, DC. Previously, he was Washington bureau chief for The Denver Post and served as Washington editor and White House correspondent for The Boston Globe. He lives with his wife and two children in Washington. Julian Burnside, QC, is an Australian barrister who specialises in commercial litigation and is also deeply involved in human rights work, in particular in relation to refugees. He is a former president of Liberty Victoria, and is also passionately involved in the arts: he is the chair of Melbourne arts venue fortyfivedownstairs, and is chair of the Mietta Foundation. He has published a children's book, Matilda and the Dragon, as well as Wordwatching, a collection of essays on the uses and abuses of the English language, and Watching Brief: reflections on human rights, law, and justice.
`This new biography is a balanced account of a complex man, written with a great gift of story-telling. It sets Darrow's battles in their rich historical setting, and brings him vividly to life. I hope that it helps keep alive the memory of a lawyer who, at his best, was a model for all lawyers to emulate.' -- Julian Burnside QC `His name remains a legend. And in this new book, John Farrell explains why, weaving a tale as compelling and clever as one of Darrow's bewitching courtroom speeches for the defense.' -- The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009) `Clarence Darrow confounded titles: he was a freethinker, hedonist, anarchist, populist, infidel, cynic and master storyteller who became our greatest lawyer and a folk hero. Farrell's masterful, sweeping new biography not only does justice to all his roles but joyously satisfies even a Darrow addict like me.' -- Roy Black, Esq., criminal defense attorney `It is almost impossible to conceive how so much living could have come in just one life, and Jack Farrell's masterful new biography makes Clarence Darrow come alive. This is a wonderful, at times heart-pounding story, which is told with precision, sympathy, and insight.' -- Ken Burns `People want heroes. But history demands truth. This gritty biography demystifies a deeply flawed legal hero, who `almost assuredly' bribed jurors and witnesses in order to level the playing field against `the rich and powerful.' Darrow was a giant of his corrupt times. His biography is a must read for all Americans who care about both the means and ends of justice!' -- Alan M. Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion `This book is a joy and revelation. It is at once a rollicking tour through the mind of a legal genius and a spellbinding account of some of the most famous cases in American history. The chapter on Leopold and Loeb alone is worth waiting in line to get a seat in Jack Farrell's courtroom.' -- David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered and They Marched into Sunlight `His [Darrow's] life story was epic in its sweep and influence ... It is stirringly retold in Farrell's timely, balanced and important book.' * Weekend Australian * `The portrait that emerges is of a complex idealist, a big-picture life lived out on the stage of the courtroom' PICK OF THE WEEK * Saturday Age * `John A. Farrell, in Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned, goes farther into the archives and deeper into Darrow's crags.' * New Yorker * 100 Most Notable Books 2011 * New York Times * `A comprehensive biography of the storied defense attorney. Making elaborate use of transcripts, observers' accounts, correspondence and newspaper reports, Farrell chronicles Darrow's most celebrated trials in detail ... These cases - including two in which Darrow, almost surely guilty, was himself tried for jury tampering - dominate the narrative, but Farrell neatly places them within the larger context of this complicated man's crowded life and practice ... Farrell unflinchingly addresses [Darrow's] shortcomings, even as he underscores the genuine brilliance of a still-unmatched advocate for underdogs everywhere.' * Kirkus (starred review) * `John Farrell's Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned is a riveting historical drama filled with strange twists and turns. Every page is a triumph of scholarship. A marvelous biography!' -- Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America `Attorney for the Damned is a must read for anyone interested in the art of lawyering.' * Courier Mail * `Farrell offers excerpts from Darrow's magnificent courtroom arguments as well as delicious details of his personal life (he was a hearty participant in the era's free love movement). [He] gleans from previously undisclosed material to offer a completely engaging portrait of a flawed man of noble ideals.' * Booklist (starred review) * `In mining a rich vein of newly uncovered sources, he [Farrell] has created what is arguably Darrow's definitive portrait.' * Adelaide Advertiser *