The core question of this book: how a great lawyer who comes to represent important causes, emerges out of the racist, paternalistic, and self-perpetuating establishment of rural Georgia in the 1950s? What about Tommy Malone led him to take on the power structure in his community and begin representing people who were injured against prominent doctors and hospitals? It wasn't money because there wasn't any money to be made at that time. There is nothing specific in his background that would cause anyone to predict that he'd become one of the first white lawyers in the Deep South to represent the black community and reach out to a struggling handful of African American attorneys and ease their passage into the mainstream. A kid who grew up in the Jim Crow era in Dougherty County, who went off to college--not an especially progressive young man--came back home after he finished law school and began representing African Americans against the ruling class? It just wasn't done. Somehow, this same young man went on to become one of the greatest trial lawyers of his generation, representing those who had their lives turned upside down--the catastrophically injured and the families whose loved ones needlessly lost their lives and futures due to the failures of others. The answers are as varied as human experience, but undoubtedly, Malone sensed a "guiding hand" directing him to the good. There was no teacher or mentor to illumine the path forward, just the gradual accretion of experience, knowledge, insight, and pain on a sensitive soul, kindling fierce passion and righteous anger. Viewed through this lens, Tommy Malone becomes a very important figure in the history of the South, and in some respects, the history of the country.