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Civil Warriors: The Legal Siege on the Tobacco Industry
by Dan Zegart
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385319363, Paperback)A rollicking tour behind the scenes of the tobacco wars, this captivating account reads like a true-crime thriller, complete with unforgettable characters and fast-paced drama. At the center of the action is Ron Motley, a handsome multimillionaire attorney who conducted class-action lawsuits in five states against cigarette makers. His thrill for the hunt is matched only by his monster ego and his use of outrageous metaphors, delivered in a South Carolina drawl. (His verdict for one particularly ineffective assistant: She's "as useless as tits on a bull.") There's the Philip Morris researcher who commits suicide by ingesting liquid nicotine, setting off a round of soul-searching among her fellow scientists; and there's "Deep Cough," code name for the manager at R.J. Reynolds who leaks information about the tobacco manufacturer's secret manipulation of nicotine to addict smokers. Sprinkled throughout are death threats, stolen documents, secret European laboratories, and wiretaps. Who would have thought that tobacco trial history and legislation could be so thrilling? Dan Zegart, who has written for Ms. and The Nation, spent five years traveling with Motley and his merry gang of supporters to deliver this colorful eyewitness account. The result is an impressive, convincing case against the tobacco industry that's straightforward and free of histrionics. If you enjoyed The Insider, the 1999 movie about a whistleblower at Brown & Williamson Tobacco, or followed the nasty internal battle at CBS over 60 Minutes's efforts to report the story, then you'll be overwhelmed by Civil Warriors. The Insider is but a chapter in this complex, comprehensive history. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)
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