In Taking the Stand, Dershowitz reveals the evolution of his own thinking on such fundamental issues as censorship and the First Amendment, Civil Rights, Abortion, homocide and the increasing role that science plays in a legal defense. Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University, and the author of such acclaimed bestsellers as Chutzpah, The Best Defense, and Reversal of Fortune, for the first time recounts his legal biography, describing his struggles academically at Yeshiva High School growning up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, his successes at Yale, clerking for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, his appointment to full professor at the Harvard at age 28, the youngest in the school's history. Dershowitz went on to work on many of the most celebrated cases in the land, from appealing (successfully) Claus Von Bulow's conviction for the murder of his wife Sunny, to the O.J. Simpson trial, to defending Mike Tyson, Leona Helmsley, Patty Hearst, and countless others. He is currently part of the legal team advising Julian Assange."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Dershowitz, Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard, is one of the most high-profile lawyers in America, known for his work on newsworthy criminal cases, including the defense of Claus von Bülow, who was accused of killing his socialite wife. Dershowitz presented the defense’s appeals in the murder trial of DuPont heir John DuPont, as well as in Mike Tyson’s rape case. Outside the criminal arena, he has had a hand in cases involving false confessions, the right of self-defense for battered women, obscenity cases, and assisted suicide. In the course of Dershowitz’s book, several things become apparent: he is smart, he knows he is smart, and he wants readers to know he is smart. The emphasis he places on his own importance can be off-putting and his habit of illuminating noteworthy issues through the prism of his own egotism distracts from his message. That said, he raises provocative questions about the many dilemmas in modern American jurisprudence, including those related to the separation of church and state, affirmative action, human rights, and the right to privacy. All in all, Dershowitz offers much of interest despite overestimating his own role in many events. (Oct.)