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The Best Defense: The Courtroom Confrontations of America's Most Outspoken Lawyer of Last Resort-- the Lawyer Who Won the Claus von Bulow Appeal
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The Best Defense: The Courtroom Confrontations of America's Most Outspoken Lawyer of Last Resort-- the Lawyer Who Won the Claus von Bulow Appeal

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  134 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The author presents his most famous, and infamous, cases and clients, and in the process, takes a critical, informed look at a legal system that he regards as deeply corrupt.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 12th 1983 by Vintage
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Michael
Oct 17, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: law-related
The Best Defense is young, brash, I-don't-give-a-$#!@ Dershowitz at his best. It's an in-your-face celebration (unapologetic is way too weak a word) of our adversarial system of justice, especially the defense lawyer's place in it. Each of its 11 chapters detail a different case or set of cases Dershowitz defended, usually successfully. The cases themselves are fascinating, covering everything from pornography (where Deep Throat meets the First Amendment) to murder (not OJ's case; that's a later ...more
Rick
Sep 13, 2014 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal
Early book by the famous lawyer and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, most notable because it was published in 1982 just as Dershowitz was rocketing to fame. Reviews some of his most interesting cases, showing fascinating points of law and how Dershowitz oftentimes took a different view from the rest of the legal world. Three main sections: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, Disturbing the Peace, and Obstructing Injustice. If you like courtroom confrontations and a lawyer with an attitude, this is y ...more
Marik Casmon
Aug 08, 2009 Marik Casmon rated it really liked it
Well, I'd actually give this book between a three and a four, but why quibble?

In the book, published in the early 80s, Dershowitz describes many of the civil rights cases that he was involved in. Many of the cases revolve around legal technicalities and governmental chicanery (as might be expected from a defense attorney).

The pictures that he presents of the higher-ups in our judicial system--prosecutors and judges, especially, but police also--are enough to make an agnostic out of anyone. That
...more
Billye
Aug 24, 2008 Billye rated it really liked it
Shelves: past-books, reviews
I read this book because my favorite professor in college recommended it.
I really admired this author at the time, but of course my disappointment regarding the OJ case years later eclipsed any feelings I had held about Mr. Dershowitz in the past.

I can still say though that the style of writing and the selection of cases in this book are very strong. Each one of these cases is worth reading and learning about.
Aaron
Apr 30, 2007 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in criminal justice, civil liberties, judaism
Shelves: haveread
Very good read on some interesting social and legal issues from a famed civil liberties lawyer. Not only does this capitalize on the already-interesting world of criminal law, but it does so in a compelling, readable way. Lots of Jewish issues implicated.
Dave
Sep 10, 2013 Dave rated it liked it
A well written book for anyone to read and learn about interesting criminal and civil cases that involved the author. Although a Harvard law professor , Dershowitz presents a compelling story of the criminal justice system during the 70s and later.
Jeff Doucette
Sep 25, 2009 Jeff Doucette rated it it was amazing
The first and best of maybe four books by Dershowitz that I've read. He briefly discusses his upbringing and then goes on to discuss in detail quite a few of his cases, many of which involve his defense of civil liberties.
BRAIN_QUEEN
Feb 10, 2010 BRAIN_QUEEN rated it really liked it
I actually thought this book was interesting because there was a lot of stuff dealing with jews in the soviet union. i read this before i applied to law school (and of course, didn't get in), but thought it was pretty interesting. i wouldn't put it as the worst book ever written but i liked it.
Barry
Mar 27, 2007 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A core text I use in many of my presentations- really well done
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Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is known for his career as an attorney in several high-profile law cases and commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He has spent most of his career at Harvard, where, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor in its history, until No
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