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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2019
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Dan Abrams and David Fisher capture, in all its fascinating particulars, the 1915 Syracuse civil defamation trial between Teddy Roosevelt and an Albany GOP party boss. Drawing on court transcripts and news reports, the trial comes alive as a tactical juridical and testimonial competition before a jury of small businessmen and farmers, pitting two famous New York lawyers of the day and their famous clients. Spicing up the story with short, informative histories of libel and slander laws, and offering the background of trial tactics and procedures, the timely book proves its application to present day issues; libel and slander as in the looming Covington, Kentucky libel case, Roosevelt’s 1912 independent presidential campaign (“The Bull Moose Party”) scuttling the candidacy of William Howard Taft and electing Woodrow Wilson, and the importance of courts in resolving contentious political issues of the day. This is a superb, well researched book for lawyers and those interested in the history of the law in America.
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