In the crammed and dizzying space of two years, from June 1924 to June 1926, America was transfixed by three contrasting courtroom trials. Each was described as a 'Trial of the Century' and featured Clarence Darrow, America's most charismatic but troubled defence lawyer, as he tried to overcome public outrage and his own private struggle to keep faith in the justice system. They also served as his own route to redemption - for Darrow was in the midst of trying to restore his reputation after he had twice been put on trial for attempting to bribe a jury. Although he had been acquitted Darrow, in his late sixties, was desperate to wipe the stain from his name. At the same time, and in one of the book's dramatic new revelations, Darrow rekindled an old affair with a passionate writer and activist, Mary Field, who was the secret love of his life. More than eighty years later, the public themes which Darrow confronted still resonate powerfully in contemporary society. Sex and murder, celebrity and race, religion and science, politics and justice, the media and the law, love and deception, belief and terror rise up as vividly today as they did in the Roaring Twenties. The world remains just as fractured and uncertain as that which Darrow surveyed in the three final iconic cases of his life.
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