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And Give Up Showbiz?: How Fred Levin Beat…
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And Give Up Showbiz?: How Fred Levin Beat Big Tobacco, Avoided Two Murder…

by Josh Young

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Recently added byErmina, Johnslist, jpporter, kagey
2015 (1) 201501 (1) biography (1) boxing (1) GR Import (1) law (1) lawyers (1) to-read (1)

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You either know about Fred Levin, or you don't. That pretty much sums up a lot of things about the man - you either like him or you don't; you either agree with him or you don't; you admire him or you don't. After reading Josh Young's biography of the Pensacola, Florida, lawyer/businessman/boxing manager/Ghanaian chief, you'll consider it a worthy read ...

Or you won't.

The son (one of several) of a Jewish pawnbroker in Pensacola, Fred Levin seemed to be destined for nothing spectacular until he got to law school, where he apparently discovered himself. Once the University of Florida Law School set him loose upon the world, his next major discovery was trial law - up to that point a little-noticed part of law, and something that Levin turned into a huge cash cow, developing a national reputation built on million-dollar lawsuits against those who would visit harm upon the unsuspecting public.

Levin has been a noted philanthropist (he donated the fees he received - $10 million - for winning a suit by the state of Florida against the tobacco industry to the Florida University law school) and a passionate advocate for black Americans. He has been an entrepreneur, ever willing to start or buy a business (Pensacola cable-TV station BLAB was started by Levin), and a boxing manager (for Roy Jones, Jr., who would produce an amazing career in the ring).

A man like Fred Levin gets both plaudits and disdain, and Levin has his share of detractors who have tried to charge him with one wrong-doing or another throughout his career, but he has survived his travails relatively unscathed.

Josh Young has written a fairly unbiased account of Levin, although there is some level of "hero worship" apparent throughout the book. I get the feeling that Young made an effort to keep his writing neutral (perhaps even bland) in order to avoid making the book one long cheerleading session for Levin, but given Levin's accomplishments, maybe he deserves a few cheers. ( )
  jpporter | Nov 16, 2014 |
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