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It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and the Lives It Shattered Hardcover – June 12, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the early hours of March 14, 2006, a group of Duke University lacrosse players got in an altercation with two strippers they hired for a party; afterwards, one of the strippers placed a call to 911 that set off a campus-shaking rape case that would captivate the national media. A number of parties, including District Attorney Mike Nifong, lined up to characterize the defendants as "a bunch of hooligans" before charges against the three indicted players were finally dropped, half a year later. In this riveting book, sports author Yaeger (Turning the Tide) and Mike Pressler, then-head coach of the Duke lacrosse team, present a fast-moving account of the 13 months that tore apart the university and the town. Looking at all aspects of the case, including Durham's troubled racial history and profiles of the Nifong and Duke president Richard Brodhead, Pressler and Yaeger find plenty of blame to spread around-including the "self-perpetuating monster" of media coverage, the university administration that took "some of the worst actions...against the Duke lacrosse team"-but Pressler, the tale's sacrificial lamb, avoids a bitter or accusatory stance. Instead he adds color and insight to Yaeger's rigorous, efficient investigation; for anyone who got caught up in the story, this is a must-read.
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"This detailed examination of the Duke University rape case...is given Dick Hill's usual skilled, careful treatment.... He subtly weights his voice to give every nuance of emotion." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; First Edition edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416551468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551461
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"It's Not About the Truth" by the former head coach of the Duke lacrosse team, Mike Pressler, is an engrossing and enlightening read.

I thought that I had paid attention throughout the process, and still learned a great deal and picked up some keen insights.

The book chronicles the events from the phone call to escort service up to declaration of "innocent" and the start of the 2007 lacrosse season.

Major and bit players in the drama are profiled and their actions recounted in a documentary/narrative style that is easy to follow and comprehend.

The University bureaucrats (starting with President Brodhead) showed no profiles in courage and abandoned the team, its season and Coach Pressler in a show of politically correct CYA.

The AD is revealed as a cowardly marionette whose word was not his bond.

The 88 faculty members (20% of the Duke staff) who took out a full-page "social disaster" ad in the student newspaper openly flew their agenda flag. A huge rush to judgment before the facts were known.

As egregiously as the university acted in forsaking the team and coach, the actions of the DA (Mike Nifong) and the Durham PD were enough to prompt two ethics charges from the North Carolina State Bar. Trial starts this week.

Nifong's rush to judgment was motivated by his desire to be elected in the 2006 DA race.

The book points out that he never spoke to the escort (complainant) until about eight months after the supposed incident.

The book does show where the profiles in courage reside.

Ironically, it is James Ammons (Chancellor at the historically black college NCCU), who was the initial public voice of reason...being the first to say "don't rush to judgment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was half expecting to read very familiar stuff when I got this book. I was amazed at how much new material this book presented and how much I could not put it down. This is a wonderfully written book that stays with you long after you read it. Just be prepared to be glued to the pages from the moment you open this new classic of judicial literature.

Coach Pressler's descriptions of this event recalls the Salem Witch trials. It is amazing something like this could happen nowadays and the fact we all lived through it makes it even more interesting. This is written in such a personal and fluid style that time just ceases to exist when you open this book. There is so much details that will leave you shocked that you really feel as if you are living the case and also feel joy at how justice was eventually done. Sadly, Coach Pressler lost his job but history will recall him as a wonderful coach and person while others such as the Duke administrators (including the Duke President)and Durham Legal and Police depts will be forever linked with a despicable period in legal history. Long after we are all gone their names will still live in infamy. It they have a conscience they would feel shamed.

I recommend as highly as I have ever recommended a book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Books about contemporary events can be potboilers. It's Not About the Truth is absolutely not in that category!

Author Don Yaeger has formidable credentials. He is a former associate editor of Sports Illustrated, the author of seven books, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Under the Tarnished Dome, and the critically acclaimed Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL. His honesty, expertise, skills, and perception are highly significant in a crisis in which those attributes have been and are so often missing.

Yaeger's style is clear, revealing in both detail and perspective, consistently lively, producing a story hard to put down. He states his opinions as well as rendering them through detailed reporting, a considerable amount either missed or not available before even in Durham.

The very extensive interviews from many differing angles and his work with Coach Mike Pressler are especially valuable, often strikingly to the point. Coach Pressler kept a diary from the first days of the drama. These sources are very extensive, exciting to read, and illuminate the events from innumerable directions, often of strategic value.

The Duke Lacrosse Case, although a media phenomenon, is by no means a new aspect of institutional life, here and elsewhere, whatever the endeavor. This story shines another powerful beam upon management style and mentality, and how some, far too many, regard the groups and individuals subject to their power. A foxhole attitude, refusal to acknowledge mistakes, and a callous disregard for individuals and groups, however valuable their contributions have been and could be, are widespread. Here one thinks of Lee Iacocca's Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
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Format: Hardcover
Just when you thought that you knew everything about the Duke University Lacrosse Rape Case, here comes a new book that shows just how little you really knew about it all.

There are several things about the case that did not make the headlines but which explains just what a shocking case of injustice this really was.

*The book explains why the man who the Duke Lacrosse team resent most is not District Attorney Nifong, but instead university President Brodhead.

*The book shows how a black student named Nartey sent threatening emails to team coach Pressler and not only was never punished for it, but was actually rewarded with a seat on a prestigious committee. Meanwhile, a white student named McFadyen sent some joke emails about to case to a private group of friends and wound up being suspended from the university.
In other words, different strokes for different folks.

*The book exposes the shameful practices of the Durham Police Department.

*The book exposes the shameful conduct of a group of college professors known as the "Group of 88" who went out of their way to inflame the situation and make wildly false accusations against the Lacrosse team members.

An added bonus to this book is an open letter by Coach Mike Pressler's 15 year old daughter Janet addressed to university president Brodhead that is a stunning indictment of Brodhead's conduct during the case.

If there is any book that you absolutely, positively have to read this year, then this is the one.
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