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Contrary to Popular Opinion

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As an outspoken lawyer, law professor, bestselling author, and public personality extraordinaire, Alan M. Dershowitz has been a controversial and vocal critic of the status quo for more than two decades. Never afraid to tackle controversy or take on an unpopular case, Dershowitz has emerged as the nation's preeminent civil libertarian. While his list of clients, including Claus Von Bulow, Jim Bakker, Leona Helmsley, Michael Milken, and Mike Tyson may read like a who's-who of celebrity outcasts, Dershowitz has ...
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Overview

As an outspoken lawyer, law professor, bestselling author, and public personality extraordinaire, Alan M. Dershowitz has been a controversial and vocal critic of the status quo for more than two decades. Never afraid to tackle controversy or take on an unpopular case, Dershowitz has emerged as the nation's preeminent civil libertarian. While his list of clients, including Claus Von Bulow, Jim Bakker, Leona Helmsley, Michael Milken, and Mike Tyson may read like a who's-who of celebrity outcasts, Dershowitz has also devoted countless hours to uncelebrated legal work on behalf of victims of shoddy law and social injustice. As a political gadfly and enemy of anti-Semitism, he has challenged the Polish Catholic hierarchy on its own ground and publicly admonished former Soviet President Gorbachev to renounce Soviet anti-Semitism. He has denounced critics who hold democratic Israel to an unrealistically high standard of behavior while turning a blind eye towards the massive human rights violations of its hostile neighbors. He has blasted the appointments Reagan and Bush have made to the Supreme Court, calling the current chief justice an "enemy of liberty," and characterizing several recent appointees as "mediocrities in robes." In Contrary to Popular Opinion Dershowitz selects his most recent columns, articles and essays and adds original commentary to present an engaging and spirited discussion from a remarkable mind about the most pressing issues of our time. Readers of Dershowitz's previous bestsellers, The Best Defense, Reversal of Fortune, and Chutzpah, will delight to see that Contrary to Popular Opinion continues Dershowitz's style of studied audacity. No matter how sensitive or incendiary the subject, Dershowitz is never afraid to say what is on his mind and back it up with solid and surprising arguments. In Contrary to Popular Opinion Dershowitz continues his crusade against blatant and subtle examples of anti-Semitism; dissects the "political correctness" c
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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425141472
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1994
  • Edition description: Berkley trade pbk. ed
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 Judges, Justices, Juries and the Courts 1
1 Two Cheers for Our Legal System 3
Pt. 2 Freedom of Expression and the Rise of Intolerance 39
2 Modern Challenges to the First Amendment 41
3 Intolerance on the Right 60
4 Intolerance on the Left 88
Pt. 3 The State, the Law and the Rights of Individuals 125
5 The Limits of the Law 127
6 The Law and the Rise of the National Security State 161
7 The "War on Drugs" and the Rights of Individuals 185
Pt. 4 The Law and Politics of Sex, Life and Death 207
8 Women's Rights, Reproductive Freedom and the Politics of Abortion 209
9 Capital Punishment 244
10 The Right to Die 261
11 Sex Crimes, Child Abuse and the Rights of the Accused 274
Pt. 5 Observations of an American Jew 317
12 European Anti-Semitism 319
13 Embattled Israel 341
14 American Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism: From the Right 365
15 American Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism: From the Left 386
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