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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
As Spence promises on the cover, this book is about himself.

You'll learn how Spence's mother's selfish suicide and religious overbearing nature have plagued him. Her death was a life-long sentence without a trial. It drove him to obsess over the innocence and justifiable mistakes of others.
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on October 8, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I got this book because I wanted to see what kind of man he is, I wasn't disappointed. This is an Awesome story, Gerry didn't leave anything out. I don't know if I could be that Honest. I believe everyone should read this book, it's one hang of a story.
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on January 17, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is mainly the life story of a boy growing up in Wyoming during the Depression who grew up to become a lawyer.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gerry Spence's books have all been favorites of mine and I always enjoy his commentary and personna. This bio is written in his usual compelling style and I loved hearing about his childhood, family and the experiences that helped mold him into the remarkable man he became. Definitely worth the time invested to read this book and I recommend all of his books to anyone interested in the complexities of the legal system in this country.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon February 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Telling expose of what he sifts out of his life story. Indicative of his legal approach is the life changing backgournd of this interesting, now national figure.
The road to where he is today of dealing with individuals who contend against big biz and government find their roots in this Wyoming bred and based defense attorney.
Haunting him is the tragedy of his young mom committing suicide at the tender age of 20. Time sure doesn't heal any wounds, just kind of glazes them over. Revealing his comments with grandma about the unanswered prayer for a bicycle.
He asks basic questions, and gets to the core of issues quick. No wonder he's so sought after as trial lawyers are these days.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I liked the book very much because I am intrigued by courtrooms and defense lawyers. But I also found the man in a seminar to be engaging, quick, wise, honest. He may act like a country lawyer, but Spence is one of America's finest attorneys. His story reminds me of Horatio Alger and "From Rages to Riches." A product of the West, he walks easily in the most erudite arenas and writes as exquisitely as he speaks. So much wisdom, information, understanding, sensitivity to the lesser ones of us. Kudos, Gerry.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio Cassette
This book relates the details of the life of Gerry Spence, a well-known trial lawyer. From his earliest days of life through the beginnings of his second marriage, Spence reveals to us what his life was like, who his influences were, and how he reacted. The driving focus of the book is Spence's mother, who took her own life when he was a young man. At the time of her death, she and Spence had had a falling out, and Spence sees much of the rest of his life as trying to make peace with her. At the end of this book, some of Spence's famous cases and clients are mentioned in an epilogue; however, these topics are not discussed in the memoir section at all.

As an outsider to Spence's family, this book was extremely hard to get through. Some of the details of his early life in rural Wyoming were quite interesting, and he certainly reveals some of his character as he variously compares arguing in the courtroom to wild game hunting or playing poker. The stories of his first marriage and its breakup, and how he took up with another woman are not exactly things to be proud of, and I'm not sure his family would really want to see these details published. When his marriage was on the rocks, he decided to sell his family's home in Wyoming together with all their possessions and start life anew in Mill Valley, California. Within a month, though, he abandoned his family in Mill Valley, where they were far from relatives, friends or any other people who might provide emotional support, to go back to his mistress in Wyoming. I couldn't help thinking about Judith Wallerstein's book about children of divorce ("Second Chances") when I read this section. For her studies, she chose families facing divorce in the early 1970s living in a town in California. Was it Mill Valley where she did her studies? Did she include the four Spence children in her work? Was it the Spence children whose standard of living took a drastic nosedive when their father moved in with someone else? But it was the woe begotten prose addressed to Spence's mother that was the most difficult part of this book to get through. I had hoped to develop some sympathy for lawyers, or at least for this one, or maybe even learn something about growing up in the West during the Depression by reading this book. Instead, after reading this book, I find myself repelled even by the thought of reading any more memoirs by lawyers.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Next to "The Paper Chase",I found Gerry Spence's autobiography to be extremely inspirational, and yet, this time he offered wisdom for the rest of us who do not take up the law. One reviewer missed the point about "country lawyer"(the common man), trying to weaken Spence's building diatribe against corporate America. His vivid, meticulous storytelling ranges as wide as the landscape of his upbringing, where Horatio Alger meets Franklin and finishes with Thomas Paine. In other words, he offers hope for the little guy, the citizen, if men of his cloth would abandon their ways and the rest of us would stop acting like lemmings. This captivating, truth-telling journey to adulthood, runs from the depression to the consumptive new millenium. His many Lincolnian lessons throughout make it a deservedly classic manual for the under-taught. Spence proves Darwin wrong. It's not the fittest, the prepared truth-seekers.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Gerry spence is a slow talking and reserved attorney turned celebrity. Too bad he does not focus his talents on death row inmates in need of adequate defense. Mr. Spence, it is time to save the lives the nation is so horrifyingly attemting (and succeeding I might add)to snuff out. In a land where murder turned law is a sign of the times, someone with vision needs to be visible. You should welcome a clean concious as much as you welcome media attention. I don't care about O.J. Simpson, but I do care about those tortured in awaiting shameless public execution. The mob is on the rise, Mr. Spence, the innocent are the damned. One cannot know the true love of a woman without knowing true love for ones fellow man. Don't retire yet, Mr. Spence. Dazzle the law with your brilliance at the helm of this corrupt yet salvageable system. Save lives.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was too much Spence for me. Having met an investigator who worked for Spence and saw the man behind the fringe, I must say that his public persona and actual self seem to differ substantially. After learning some of the information that will never be written -- at least not by Spence -- I lost much of my desire to read his crafted memoir.
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