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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Best Defense Paperback – May 12, 1983

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The author presents his most famous, and infamous, cases and clients, and in the process, takes a critical, informed look at a legal system that he regards as deeply corrupt.

From the Back Cover

The courtroom confrontations of America's most outspoken lawyer of last resort he lawyer who won the Claus von Bulow appeal. 'An over-used promise of book promoters is that a book 'has something for everyone.' In the case of Alan Dershowits'z The Best Defense the promise is fulfilled.'--New York Law Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (May 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039471380X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394713809
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of this book is a law professor who does appellant work part time. Unlike the cut and thrust of jury work appeals have generally been seen as dry rarefied and uninteresting. The author however writes in an entertaining and self deprecating way which brings the process alive. It is one of the most enjoyable books written about the law that I have read for some time.
The author also writes about the cases he loses. So many books by advocates focus on the success and are about self grandisment.
Overall the impression given is how much of a dogged slog it is to achieve justice in the American System and how much calculation and thought has to go into every strategy and move. One of the amazing things in the book is how the author is so critical of a number of judges and how willing he is to make those criticisms.
It is an excellent book which shows the many flaws and weakness of the American justice system.
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Format: Paperback
this book succeeds on many levels and as such should appeal to many readers:
1. as an explanation for how our judicial system is setup and operates;
2. putting a face and personal touch behind many famous (porn star harry reams, prince of the city robert leuci, etc. etc.) and less famous, but just as interesting, trials;
3. as a series of engaging human interest stories;
4. as a chronicle of the early careers of now wildly famous people like, for example, rudy guiliani who appears as a young prosecutor in the case involving robert leuci.
this book was written at a time when dershowitz was more focused on trials as opposed to politics, so it reads without the over tones of his later works. this will be good for readers that don't agree with his politics and it's a refreshing change during this time where there are so many books that carry a political agenda.
each chapter averages about 20 pages and discusses a different case. so you can read one a night or a polish off a few while travelling. dershowitz' delivery is completely candid about the the conversations and people involved in each case. i was continually surprised about the intimate details revealed for each case.
i think this book will have great appeal to readers of spy-thrillers because they will be entertained by the stories, plot twists and uncertain endings (dershowitz discusses cases in which he won and lost), while at the same time discovering many realities of our courts and beyond.
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Format: Paperback
Dershowitz is a great writer. Love him or hate him, you can't deny this man's writing ability. His style is relatively informal, avoiding overly-intelectual language and instead opting to use plain language. This style allows the reader to focus on the content and ideas behind text, rather than constantly look words up in the dictionary. In this book, Dershowitz retells some of the more gripping cases he's been involved in. The book is partly crime novel, taking the reader thru the case step by step. The book is partly theoretical, using the cases to instruct on the way the legal system should or does work. I recommend the book highly for the law student, lawyer, and lay person as it will instruct you to how the criminal justice system really is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dershowitz has become a highly controversial writer and personality for a number of reasons: he has taken on unpopular cases, he has an enormous ego, and he is an opinionated iconoclast unafraid to offer his views on Judaism, the Middle East and other political issues with the same sense of total certainty as he does when it comes to his true area of expertise: constituional law.

All of that aside, he is a true legal scholar, and a great story teller (or at least he was when this book was written) and this is almost certainly his very best book. Compelling, almost riveting, Dershowitz makes the case for civil rights and constitutional defense as well ashe does anywhere else, but here he also tells a story leavened by a partial memoir of growing up orthodox in Boro Park Brooklyn in the 1960s.

This is a great book, not to be missed.
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Format: Paperback
Forget what you've seen on television. This book reveals Prof. Dershowitz for what he truly is--a principled civil libertarian of the first order. I was fortunate enough to study criminal law with Prof. Dershowitz, and this book recounts the very best of his early "war stories." It's as readable as fiction, and far more interesting! Read this book and find out why William F. Buckley, whose politics differ widely from Prof. Dershowitz's, called for him to receive the Medal of Freedom for his "fundamentalist" defense of the American legal system. From Soviet Jews, to teenagers on death row, to porn-star Harry Reems, Prof. Dershowitz has defended the powerless and the unpopular and suffered the criticism of others with good humor and a constant willingness to debate. I read this book in high school, and again in law school. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Dershowitz has written an insightful page-turner that takes you through a few of his early cases. Interesting to walk through the different legal arguments made on the different cases. Disappointed to read about the somewhat rampant impropriety that prosecutors and judges engaged in within those cases. Fun read!
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