New York Times
HBO’s best-selling book and hit series
comes the never-before-heard story of Clarence Darrow, America’s most famous criminal attorney, and the case that threatened to destroy his entire career.
“A fascinating portrait of Clarence Darrow like we’ve never seen him before – as a criminal defendant. In Darrow’s Nightmare, Nelson Johnson tells the fascinating story of America’s most famous lawyer as he fights for his life, marriage, career and reputation. I couldn’t stop. ”—Terence Winter, creator and executive producer, Boardwalk Empire
Considered by many to be one of the country’s best-known criminal defense lawyers, Clarence Darrow has become nationally recognized for his eloquence, sweeping cross-interrogations and compassionate support for the oppressed, both inside and outside the courtroom.
While his fifty-year career has been full of important cases, specifically his work on the Scopes Monkey Trial and the Leopold and Loeb Murder Trial, Darrow’s Nightmare focuses on just two years of Darrow’s career: 1911 to 1913. It was during this period that Darrow was hired to represent the McNamara brothers, two union workers accused of bombing the Los Angeles Times building, an incident that resulted in 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Together with investigative journalist Lincoln Steffens, Darrow negotiated an ambitious court settlement on behalf of the McNamara brothers. But the plan soon fell apart; before the plea agreement reached its peak, Darrow was accused of trying to bribe a juror. As Darrow himself became the defendant, what was once his highlight in the national spotlight has become a threat to the future of his career and the safety of his family.
Forgotten by history books, New York Times bestselling author Nelson Johnson brings two of the most tumultuous years in Darrow’s life back to the forefront of conversations. Based on a transcript of 8,500 saved pages from the two trials, Johnson makes Darrow’s story come to life like never before.
Darrow’s Nightmare it’s a real story unlike any other – a historic court thriller brought to life.