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A Civil Action (1995)

by Jonathan Harr

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2,501365,929 (3.89)78
Biography & Autobiography. Politics. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER ‚?Ę NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER ‚?Ę The true story of one man so determined to take down two of the nation's largest corporations accused of killing children from water contamination that he risks losing everything. 

"The legal thriller of the decade." ‚??Cleveland Plain Dealer


Described as ‚??a page-turner filled with greed, duplicity, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinksmanship" by The New York Times, A Civil Action is the searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry‚??one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice. Yet it is also the story of how one man can ultimately make a difference.  Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. With an unstoppable narrative power reminiscent of Truman Capote‚??s In Cold Blood, A Civil Action is an unforgettable reading experience that will leave the reader both shocked and enlightened.
 
A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
First edition fine
  dgmathis | Mar 17, 2023 |
Excellent book, gripping at times. I myself am a lawyer. At the risk of this being a spoiler, taking a big case that looks appealing but has a long run-up to generating money is a major risk in the profession. Taking a matter that promises to be prominent and/or lucrative has major risks. The outlay for the case can be huge. Workers, taxing authorities and suppliers are not notably patient. What happened to Schlichtmann was needless.

There are two things I wonder: 1) Why did Schlictmann let his "lead counsel" out so easily; and 2) why the environmental movement did not help.

The "devils advocate" question for me is whether the people with Woburn are better off with their legal victory, and the polluting plants shuttered. That question makes me wonder. ( )
  JBGUSA | Jan 2, 2023 |
nonfiction law case it was okay a bit boring in parts gives a good idea about what goes into a case ( )
  lkubed | Oct 8, 2022 |

A fast-paced non-fiction, that I had trouble putting down.

In the 1980's 2 corporate giants are accused of poisoning the water supply of a Massachusetts town. A small Boston firm takes on the case, and the lives of everyone involved are never the same.

Harr wrote this book as the case began taking shape and thus his research is impeccable. The book reads, like a well crafted thriller. Thoroughly enjoyed. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Good read based on a true story that discusses the incredibly unethical, illegal, and troubling environmental and human damage that a bad company can inflict‚ÄĒand how difficult it can be to hold them accountable. Also discusses some of the real considerations that many lawyers face‚ÄĒincluding those that chase them to push too hard on some cases and the financial reasons they have for walking away from some. Well worth the time to read this one, even if you‚Äôll be frustrated by much of what actually happened. ( )
  bentleymitchell | Aug 27, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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For Diane Apollan Harr
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The lawyer Jan Schlichtmann was awakened by the telephone at eight-thirty on a Saturday morning in mid-July.
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Biography & Autobiography. Politics. True Crime. Nonfiction. HTML:#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER ‚?Ę NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER ‚?Ę The true story of one man so determined to take down two of the nation's largest corporations accused of killing children from water contamination that he risks losing everything. 

"The legal thriller of the decade." ‚??Cleveland Plain Dealer


Described as ‚??a page-turner filled with greed, duplicity, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinksmanship" by The New York Times, A Civil Action is the searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry‚??one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice. Yet it is also the story of how one man can ultimately make a difference.  Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. With an unstoppable narrative power reminiscent of Truman Capote‚??s In Cold Blood, A Civil Action is an unforgettable reading experience that will leave the reader both shocked and enlightened.
 
A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta

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