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by Jonathan Harr

"A Civil Action" by Jonathan Harr. Hardcover, excellent condition.
Download A Civil Action epub
ISBN: 0712677852
ISBN13: 978-0712677851
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Jonathan Harr
Language: English
Publisher: Random House Inc; 1st edition (1995)
ePUB size: 1170 kb
FB2 size: 1788 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 206
Other Formats: mbr rtf doc lrf

I could not put down this brilliant piece of journalism, on one of the first Superfund cases in U.S. history.

Before it became a super fund case, however, a lawyer devoted years of his life to obtain justice and compensation for those in the small Massachusetts town whose water supplies had been compromised enough to kill them, including one of the executives defending the companies who were charged; the lawyer lost all his cases.

This was a case of justice gone badly wrong, and a judge who ignored the facts and perhaps even twisted the laws, possibly because of his intense dislike for the attorney who had the chutzpah to bring the cases in the first place, a man who simply did not give up and himself lost almost everything he had to do it.

It was also a case of courage and honesty for the greater good.

All journalists and students of journalism should read this book. A finer example of a full-length investigative work like this is hard to find.
Well, this might be the most bitterly disappointing thing I've read in the past decade. All my rage shall be directed toward Jonathan Harr, who had the audacity to set up an impossible situation, made me care about the real life characters this situations involved, meticulously set up the conditions under which this the real life characters finally decided to pursue the impossible task, bluff me into thinking they had a strong chance of being successful, and forced me to feel so many panging emotions as the characters suffer loss after loss after loss after loss, and leading me to think over and over and over "maybe things will be different this time, maybe justice will finally be served," and time and time again that optimism is revoked, and I'm forced down from my elation into reality.

Harr has made me into a fool. A naive, overly optimistic fool. Having just finished this book, within the past few minutes, I think to myself, "how could I have been so stupid to really think, given everything I was subject to witness over the past four hundred pages, that there was even a slight hope for justice?" I really don't know. I mean seriously, Harr basically tells you, multiple times throughout the book, that this story is not going to have a happy, yet every new revelation, every new piece of information that's discovered, I was stupid enough to be dragged into Jan Schlichtmann's elation, to feel what he was feeling in those moments, to think to myself that the world is a just place where justice cannot help but be served when the divide between right and wrong is so painfully obvious, so clearly illustrated, so irrefutable, and then, alas, justice does not come. And the defeat failed to become real for me until the final ten pages of the book, which was when it became clear to me that there just wasn't enough book left for any kind've of miraculous twist of fate to manifest itself within the coming pages, and only then did I allow myself to accept defeat, and not a moment sooner.

I'm sorry if I spoiled it for anybody, like myself, who was not aware of how these events ultimately turned out before it was introduced to them through this book, but the heroes lose in this true story. Knowing the ending shouldn't deter you from reading it, though. It is a truly marvelous work of non-fiction writing.
A true story about trying to fined the truth in a Court case that leads a man putting everything on the line for his legal firm to win the biggest water contamination case ever in Woburn, Massachusetts history. The time this story take place is from the late 1960's to the 1980's where many children where being diagnosed with Leukemia. Jan Schlichtmann takes the case thinking that it would be a quick case, since it had very little evidence, but he find evidence that some large companies have been dumping a contaminant know as THC in the water supplies. The story is very griping that keeps you reading and always wanting to know what the law firm learns next about the case seeing how fair the rabbit hole goes. The main theme is to always try to find the truth even when faced with overwhelming odds. And those that try to suppress the truth should know that it will always find it's way back into the light. If anyone is looking for a good story about truth this is it.
Taking it from my bedside table I started to read it twice but fell asleep thinking "This is a terrific book." I got up the following Sunday morning at 5AM and read the book in one glorious sitting. My uncle borrowed it and left a message on my answering a couple of days later, " owe me a night's sleep." My daughter read it and loved it. I just ordered it for my thirteen year old granddaughter. We'll see what she thinks. I may be back.
Set everything aside if you start reading this. In other words, it's best read on a long plane ride over the Pacific Ocean, when you can't be distracted. This book was so intriguing and interesting. It's a fascinating look at something that seems so black and white, but legalese makes it so gray. The obvious answer to all the deaths and diseases in the town of Woburn was the dumping of chemicals into the soil. So, why then, was it so difficult for the idiotic judge and jury to not see that?!?!? This book totally caught my attention and makes me upset at our legal system. Absolutely captivating.