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The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson Hardcover – September 4, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (September 4, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679441700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679441700
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Just when you thought everyone and their second-cousin had published a book on the most famous criminal proceding of the century, along comes a book about the trial that actually deserves to be read.

Jeffrey Toobin's coverage of the trial of O.J. Simpson for The New Yorker magazine was the first to focus on the reality that no one wanted to addresss directly, but that pervaded every moment of the trial and perhaps even the crime itself - that race was at the heart of everything. Toobin's explosive article in July 1994, "An Incendiary Defense," laid out the defense lawyers' strategy, fingered Mark Fuhrman as their chief villain, and made the "race card" the euphemism of choice.

In The Run of His Life, Toobin's reporting, based on his unprecedented access to sources to the sources on all sides, lets us see, in a fresh light, the prosecutors, defense attorneys, private eyes, waiters, dog walkers, cops, ex-football stars, TV personalities, forensic experts, and so many others. He also offers an insightful examination of the larger questions raised by the case - including the importance of celebrity, race (and the way it's manipulated in the media), California as both a state and a state of mind, domestic violence, American jurisprudence, and the efficacy of the jury system.

From Library Journal

Toobin was an assistant U.S. attorney before joining the staff of The New Yorker, which published "An Incendiary Defense," his groundbreaking article on the O.J. Simpson case in its July 25, 1994 issue. This will be a big book, but as the contents are deemed "highly confidential," we can't say much more.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

One can tell he researched the facts very well.
As the familiar story unfolds, Toobin details the prosecution's very strong case against Simpson.
william woolum
I've read numerous books purporting to tell the "true story."
Bette J. Amsler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1996
Format: Hardcover
The dust jacket for The Run of His Life is pure black on one side and pure white on the other. From the outset of the bizarre, ever-televised story, O.J. Simpson's defense lawyers sought to exploit race, and of course they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams through a combination of amazing luck and sheer audacity.

The purpose of this book is clearly not to change any minds about the substantial issues of the case itself, about which everyone seems to be intractable. Even though Toobin is one of the more objective (though not uninvolved) observers of the case and his point of view rings more true than that of the participants, the stereotypical white reader will agree with most of what's in this book, and the stereotypical black reader will find many faults.

The main value of this book is as a fascinating picture of the machinations behind the public events and of the personalities involved, and as an integrated narrative of the essentials of the story. It was utterly engaging to this reader, who followed the trial fairly closely, but it would be of great interest to anyone looking for first-rate coverage of the ultimate modern American fiasco.

It's simply an amazing story, not just about a murder case, of course, and not just about race, but also about celebrity (Simpson's, the lawyers, the witnesses, etc.) and the ramifications of race for the central celebrity, who once said in an interview, "I'm not black, I'm O.J." Johnny Cochran may be right that race affects everything in America, but for O.J. Simpson, his celebrity and wealth had an overriding impact on everything in his life, a life which even before the murders was evidently a hollow and tawdry one.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By william woolum on July 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Toobin has no doubt that O. J. Simpson killed his wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Therefore, the driving question of the book is not "did he commit the crime?", the question is "why was he acquitted?". Toobin's thesis grows out of local Los Angeles history as well as national U. S. history. Los Angeles is a microcosm of the United States because it is a city, just as ours is a nation, divided along racial lines. Toobin's study makes it quite clear that what is at issue in this divide, more than opportunity, more than economics, more than political clout, is trust. Distrust runs deep between the races. In Los Angeles, this distrust defined the jury and shaped the jury's verdict. Toobin explores how the defense formulated a strategy to exploit this racial divide and how the prosecution minimized or ignored how feelings and perceptions borne of racial identity would effect this trial. As the familiar story unfolds, Toobin details the prosecution's very strong case against Simpson. For the prosecution, the crime was in the details: hairs, fibers, blood drops, blood smears, gloves, footprints. But could this jury trust the gatherers and interpreters of this evidence? No. They didn't trust the police, criminalists, or lab technicians. They didn't trust Marcia Clark. They didn't trust a system of police and prosecution and the reason was historical racial mistreatment. Yes, Toobin examines the conflicts between attorneys. He examines the performance of Lance Ito. He evaluates the attorneys' performances on both sides. But what he does best is illuminate the insidious consequences of of our country's long history of racial mistreatment. In this case, argues Toobin, a murderer walked free.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Justbooking TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
In what may prove to be the definitive book on the trial of the century, New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin leaves no stone unturned to prove that O.J. Simpson was guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.

The premise of the book is simple. OJ was guilty - his lawyers knew it and the evidence, overwhelming. The case was the prosecution's to lose. Which they did, through their incompetence and sheer arrogance, he argues. Granted, the defense played the race card from the get go - Toobin himself was the first to flush out their strategy early on and make it public through his explosive article in the The New Yorker.

Through vivid recounting of the murder trial and behind-the-scenes look at the lives and testimony of the main participants and witnesses, Toobin gives a far more vivid account than that found in other books, most notably Marcia Clark's "Without a Doubt," presenting a solid case for OJ's guilt in the last chapter.

The amount of preparation that went into this book - with over 200 interviews - shows how meticulous Toobin was in his research. It's no accident that he was the first reporter to uncover the infamous Furhman personnel files and bring them to the attention of the Defense (unbeknown to him, the lawyers had already found these.) Why not talk with the prosecution about these first?

Unfortunately, Toobin does not hide his disdain for the prosecution - to the point that you wonder if they even granted him an interview.
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