Contrary to Popular Opinion

Contrary to Popular Opinion

by Alan M. Dershowitz

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his syndicated newspaper column, Harvard Law School professor Dershowitz ( Chutzpah ) comments on contemporary legal and public policy issues. The self-described ``civil libertarian''p. xiii is himself often newsworthy as the attorney for prominent criminal defendants such as Leona Helmsley and, of late, Mia Farrow. Mike Tyson. He states that he uses the publicity generated by these cases, about which many people have made up their minds in advance of trial, to highlight vital legal questions. The 150 columns, articles and essays collected here offer lively, challenging explorations of important debates. Divided into five parts, the book covers the range of Dershowitz's concerns: the courts, right- and left-wing intolerance, the First Amendment, abortion, women's rights, the death penalty and anti-Semitism. His thoughts are provocative and well worth reading. ( Oct. )
Library Journal
Dershowitz is a Harvard law professor, celebrated criminal defense attorney (he has represented such controversial figures as Mike Tyson, Claus von Bulow, Leona Helmsley, and now Mia Farrow), and the author of Chutzpah ( LJ 6/1/91), Reversal of Fortune ( LJ 4/1/86), and The Best Defense ( LJ 5/15/82). His new book is a collection of his most recent newspaper columns on five topics: judges, juries, and the courts; anti-Semitism; free expression in a democratic society; the state vs. individual rights; and the politics of capital punishment, abortion, and the right to die. Dershowitz's opinions are controversial but logically and persuasively presented. For any collection containing Dershowitz's work, this is a necessary purchase.-- Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J.
Kirkus Reviews
A scattershot collection of the outspoken Harvard law professor's ruminations on various topics, which reflects his already extensively documented interest in the state of the federal judiciary, civil liberties, and Israeli and Jewish issues, among other concerns. Dershowitz gathers these opinion pieces (many drawn from his syndicated newspaper column) into five main areas: judges, justice, and courts; freedom of expression and the rise of intolerance; the state, the law, and the rights of individuals; the law and politics of sex, life, and death; and problems related to Judaism and Jewishness, particularly the problem of anti-Semitism at home and abroad. While his title suggests an element of unpredictability, Dershowitz's stance on most issues is consistent and easy to anticipate. He is a civil libertarian, profoundly protective of the rights of the individual against the interests of the state, a champion of freedom of expression, and a man proud of his Jewish heritage and abhorred by manifestations of anti-Semitism. Though few readers will disagree with these principles, when Dershowitz—who delights in his role as a gadfly—applies them to specific issues, he draws conclusions and expresses compellingly argued opinions that will make some uncomfortable. He condemns the New York bar's discipline of D.A. Liz Holtzman for publicly criticizing a judge; argues that a Massachusetts law prohibiting child pornography is too broad and should be struck down; condemns the "speech codes" on college campuses that prohibit racist, sexist, and homophobic expressions; and suggests that Americans should not invest in anti-Semitic, though newly democratic, Poland. VintageDershowitz: trenchant opinions designed to stimulate—and infuriate.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
Berkley trade pbk. ed
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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