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The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  7,223 ratings  ·  700 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The inspiration for the first season of American Crime Story on FX, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, and Connie Britton
The definitive account of the O. J. Simpson trial, The Run of His Life is a prodigious feat of reporting that could have been written only by the foremost legal journalist of our time. First publish
Paperback, 460 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1996)
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Dave Yes, but only if you believe in stuff like evidence.
Starasia Yes, Yes, Yes!! I loved the series and didn't want it to end, so I got the book and learned so much more, plus what really happened and what didn't.

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I was fifteen years old when the OJ Simpson verdict was handed down, on October 3, 1995. I watched his acquittal live on television, during homeroom. I hadn’t followed the trial at all, since like most teenagers, I had my head deep up my own ass. I do recall, however, cheering the acquittal. I think there was a part of me that wanted to see the bad guy get away. Also, I loved OJ in The Towering Inferno, where his contribution to San Francisco’s greatest fictional disaster is to save Jennifer Jon ...more
Good golly, is this a fantastic true crime book. Jeffrey Toobin is one of those rare people who can take complex legal issues and explain them to laypeople, while also writing fantastic descriptions and crafting a good narrative.

I was in college during the O.J. Simpson murder case and confess I wasn't paying much attention to it back then. I was busy doing college stuff, plus I was never into football and had only a vague idea of why O.J. Simpson was famous. However, despite my lack of interest
A woman and her male friend were brutally murdered just outside her home. There was practically a trail of blood leading to her ex-husband’s house. The ex had a history of domestic violence against her and no alibi. A mountain of physical and circumstantial evidence including DNA, hairs, footprints, and a bloody glove found on his property all point at him as the killer.

You didn’t need Sherlock Holmes to solve this one, but I doubt that even an amazing lawyer like Perry Mason or Atticus Fitch co
This book was soo good. After watching the FX show that was based off of this book I became completely obsessed with all things O.J. & since I was 8 yrs old when it was happening I had never really given it much thought. I now completely understand why its called "The Trial of the Century" its almost too ridiculous to be true but it is. The book like the trial itself was gossipy & sordid. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Also O.J. totally killed Nicole & Ron. ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. The Run of His Life is interesting but feels dated. Jeff Toobin provides a detailed account of the OJ Simpson criminal trial for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goodman. He gives the back story on the investigators, Judge Ito and many of the lawyers involved. He explores the jury dynamics. And he delves into Simpson's life and the victims' lives. Toobin has a lot of criticism about how the case was handled by all involved, and he spreads it generously. He explores what he sees ...more
Natasha Niezgoda

Review to come!!!
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law-related
Toobin covered the OJ trial for the New Yorker, so he knows his -ish: he was there, watching the trial every day, and The Run of His Life is his comprehensive account of it. I appreciate that Toobin doesn't hide behind a facade of objectivity: he lays out his thesis in the introduction. Toobin firmly believes that OJ was guilty, yet was acquitted because the (1) defense team succeeded in making the trial a referendum on the racism of the LAPD (2) the prosecution made some serious errors (3) the ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, race
There might not have been a better time in the past 20 years to read a book about the O.J. Simpson trial than in 2016. Not only is there an acclaimed dramatization and and an acclaimed documentary, but the questions of race, class and celebrity highlighted by the trial remain as unresolved and relevant as ever.

I was 13 and in eighth grade when our teacher wheeled in the school's shared TV set so we could watch the verdict given live. I still remember being stunned as the words "not guilty" were
BAM The Bibliomaniac
ok, now that I've gotten that off my chest , I'll share my thoughts.
Darden is a buffoon
Ito is a media hungry fool
Cochran could argue race discrimination in a trial of any crime ANY or really he doesn't need a crime, he just needs a soapbox (or should I say needed)
I had such respect for Scheck because of his Innocence Project, but he just twisted tye DNA evidence here. He knew that juries in the 1990s would never comprehend the science. Makes me wonder what
Liz Barnsley
So like many I remember watching (parts of) OJ Simpsons murder trial, the case where it seems the majority of people believe he was guilty and got away with it. I was interested therefore to read this and see the entire picture so to speak, hopefully told without too much legal speak and I went in with my mind open to see what was what.

The book is excellent – it looks at every layer of the trial, the people within, the ups and the downs, where it all went wrong for the prosecution and gives a hu
I was too young to know anything that was going on when OJ Simpson was arrested and tried for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her very unlucky friend Ron Goldman. I remember it being all adults talked about (most of it going way over my head). I remember the night of the car chase, because it interrupted T.G.I.F. on ABC, and I was trash for T.G.I.F. as a nine year old, even though it was June and all my shows must have been in re-runs. Watching that Bronco drive endlessly down ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed two of Toobin's other books, I had long wanted to read this one. What prompted me finally to pick it up was John McCain's accusation that Barack Obama had "played the race card" by saying that Republicans would say that Obama didn't look like all of the other presidents on the dollar bills. McCain's indignation was entirely hypocritical, since he'd in fact run an ad in June that mocked Obama by putting his face on a $100 bill. And as many commentators noted, McCain's accusation it ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
actually I'm happy to read this book and to know more about o.j. simpson
May 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Decades ago, when he was reporting on the Simpson trial for The New Yorker, Toobin came across in his “as it happens” articles like an elitist, racist jerk. In this book, his snotty, arrogant, dismissive, airily white-supremacist worldview gets a much fuller airing. I don’t argue that Toobin is wrong about Simpson’s guilt. Rather, the obnoxiousness of his authorial voice and his clear presumption that the way he—a wealthy, connected, white man—saw the facts was the only way they could have been ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed Toobin's The Nine, RE the Supreme Court,
much better. Toobin's background : trained attorney
+ author. He interviewed > than 200 people for this book.

This book explored many egos, that of : the author, the
judge, prosecutors, defense, jury, police, expert witnesses
and media, all of whom took part in the 1994 OJ Simpson
double murder trial. Prosecutors used the domestic violence
to murder strategy, & the defense race: they alleged the
LA cops and crime science guys didn't process the
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read Harder Challenge 2016: Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography)

(Spoiler alert. He totally did it.)

With thirty pages left in this insider's account of the Brown/Goldman murders and subsequent trials, I watched the criminal trial's verdict announcement on YouTube. When I saw OJ Simpson, I experienced that involuntary rush of tears and sweat and adrenaline that communicates fear. Yes, FEAR. As I recoiled from Simpson's entitled smirk, Kim Goldman's hollow wail, and Marcia Clarke's emac
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm reading this because of the FX show. The show was excellent and since I was born months after the verdict was read, it really showed me all sides of the story. Not just what the people saw on the court room broadcast and various publicity stunts, but also the behind the scenes things people weren't so familiar with.

All I can say is that the case got so much out of hand that it was hard to realize. And, the prosecution played into the defense's hands so many times. Not to mention Judge Ito wa
Charlotte Clymer
I've been wanting to read Jeffrey Tobin's take on the O.J. Simpson trial for a long time. With the miniseries being broadcast on FX, it seemed like the opportune moment to follow along with Toobin's commentary.

I was a kid in grade school when the Simpson trial was the talk of the nation for over a year in '94-'95. I remember the the Bronco chase and the magazine covers and nightly news analysis and late night jokes. I remember adults--seemingly every adult--having an opinion on O.J.'s guilt or i
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-culture
I read this book with equal parts fascination and revulsion - it was an extremely good example of the power of the good legal representation and an example of turning the conversation from the murder of two innocent people to something much more politically charged - a classic case of diverting attention until you don't even remember what started the whole thing. To see the evidence so clearly spelled out and yet have that evidence play such a small role in jury deliberations is so sad. To hear ...more
Sonny Boninsegna
An absolutely fantastic read and the definitive account of the OJ Simpson trial in my opinion. Attorney Toobin does a brilliant job of delivering inside information and taking the reader through the case. As someone who followed the both the criminal and civil trials closely and who has read as much as he could find about the case, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in the case specifically or how a high profile case travels through the justice system.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was 18 and in between high school and college when the OJ case broke. I watched a few minutes of the chase and listened to my ex's mom offer her conviction that he was innocent. Two years ago, the FX series reignited my interest in the events I mostly avoided the first time around, and I got curious. Toobin's book is exhaustive but fascinating. It reads like a novel, and it provides an in depth look at the evidence of the case as well as the climate of LA and the nation at the time. If you're ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely insightful and sticks to the facts of the case.
Everyone has a character flaw that is their undoing. People are shamelessly exploitative and cynical. The average person is easily duped and not very bright. Lawyers are at best a necessary evil. Cops are an unnecessary evil. Systemic racism is real, and it's hard enough to get people to notice it without trying to pretend it's something and somewhere it's not. It's extraordinarily easy to defame and slut-shame dead women. Celebrity and money will shield you from consequences.
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed on

Everyone – unless you never used to follow current affairs back in the 90's or you've very young- remembers the trial in which O.J. Simpson was accused, tried and ultimately adquitted of murdering his ex girlfiend Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. All the evidence pointed to Simpson's guilt- in fact, ridiculously so- and so it was a shock to many when, in 1995, he was found not guilty. I had heard about the case and knew a fair amount about it...or
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think you know everything about the O.J. Simpson trial...nope! The behind the scenes frenzy was CRAZY. We all knew it was a media craze, but there was so much more to it then that. Prosecutorial issues. Defense team issues. Evidence not overturned. Attorneys fined for illegal actions during the trial. The fight to be at the top by all. Judge Lance Ito and his desire to be recognize by the media. The attorneys fighting for the fame. The jurors who also wanted fame and lied to get on the jury. How ...more
Melissa Espiritu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oui-we-read
I DID IT! I'M DONE! I read this book for a new book club I'm in, and just in time. I'm not going to say that I enjoyed this book because that implies that it was pleasurable to go through this, and reading about the murders and this insane case isn't something that I would call a pleasure. However, this book was a great read for me because I was pretty young when the murders and trial happened. I knew *certain* parts of the trial and remember how divisive it felt in my 2nd grade-ish mind, but I ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book ahead of the mini series coming later this year based on it. It's excellent. If you've ever wondered why that trial went the way it did ... this is the book that explains it.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thorough recounting of the OJ Simpson trial. I was a toddler when the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman occurred. The name OJ Simpson was around me often but I didn’t know about him or what he did or didn’t do. I just knew he was famous... or infamous.

In 2016 I watched the mini-series based on the trial and this book. This is rare, but I do recommend the TV show over the book. The book isn’t bad, however, if I didn’t have some of the knowledge I acquired from the show I pr
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I moved to a new town in June 1994, right around the time Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman were murdered. Everyone was enthralled with the trial, and I was just a little kid, but I have a vivid memory of a new friend telling me she was going to be an investigator when she grew up, and she already solved the OJ Simpson case.

This read just didn't do it for me. On the one hand, there are a lot of nuances of the trial I don't remember or wasn't privy to as an eight year old. It was interesting to read a
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Jeffrey Ross Toobin (J.D., Harvard Law School, 1986; B.A., American History and Literature, Harvard University) is a lawyer, blogger, and media legal correspondent for CNN and formerly The New Yorker magazine. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, and later worked as a legal analyst for ABC News, where he received a 2001 Emmy Award for his coverage of t ...more

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61 likes · 20 comments
“As to the central fact in the case, it is my view that Simpson murdered his ex-wife and her friend on June 12. Any rational analysis of the events and evidence in question leads to that conclusion. This is true whether one considers evidence not presented to the jury—such as the results of Simpson’s polygraph examination and his flight with Al Cowlings on June 17—or just the evidence established in court. Notwithstanding the prosecution’s many errors, the evidence against Simpson at the trial was overwhelming. Simpson had a violent relationship with his ex-wife, and tensions between them were growing in the weeks leading up to the murders. Simpson had no alibi for the time of the murders, nor was his Bronco parked at his home during that time. Simpson had a cut on his left hand on the day after the murders, and DNA tests showed conclusively that it was Simpson’s blood to the left of the shoe prints leaving the scene. Nicole’s blood was found on a sock in his bedroom, and Goldman’s blood—as well as Simpson’s—was found in the Bronco. Hair consistent with Simpson’s was found on the killer’s cap and on Goldman’s shirt. The gloves that Nicole bought for Simpson in 1990 were almost certainly the ones used by her killer.” 1 likes
“According to the telephone poll, a full 40 percent of black women felt that the use of physical force was appropriate in a marriage. And black women especially could not abide Marcia Clark.” 0 likes
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