Gideon's Trumpet

Gideon's Trumpet

Book - 1989
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A history of the landmark case of Clarence Earl Gideon's fight for the right to legal counsel. Notes, table of cases, index. The classic backlist bestseller. More than 800,000 sold since its first pub date of 1964.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1989, ©1964
Edition: Vintage Books edition
ISBN: 9780679723127
Branch Call Number: 345.056 Le
Description: 277 pages ; 21 cm


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Vincent T Lombardo Mar 26, 2013

I practiced law for 30 years and, through the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, mentored students at Cleveland-Marshall for almost 20 years. Whenever a student successfully completed the first year of law school, I would give her "Gideon's Trumpet". In clear and lucid prose that anyone could understand, Anthony Lewis explained the arcane procedures of the U.S. Supreme Court and abstract legal concepts such as "selective incorporation". But most importantly, he told an inspiring story of how a barely literate drifter persuaded the Supreme Court to change its mind and extend the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel to the States -- with the assistance, of course, of appointed appellate counsel, Abe Fortas, and his colleagues. The book exemplifies how creative and noble the legal profession can be.

I once wrote to him about giving his book to my mentees, and he sent me a brief but gracious reply. Years later, I met him before a lecture he gave at Case, and he autographed my copies of "Gideon's Trumpet" and "Make No Law". He was a true gentleman as well as an excellent writer. It is fitting, if not, ironic, that Lewis died while we were commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright.


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