Abraham: The World's First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 6 2015 - 208
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Part of the Jewish Encounter series

One of the worlds best-known attorneys gives us a no-holds-barred history of Jewish lawyers: from the biblical Abraham through modern-day advocates who have changed the world by challenging the status quo, defending the unpopular, contributing to the rule of law, and following the biblical command to pursue justice.

The Hebrew Bibles two great examples of advocacy on behalf of problematic defendantsAbraham trying to convince God not to destroy the people of Sodom, and Moses trying to convince God not to destroy the golden-calf-worshipping Children of Israelestablished the template for Jewish lawyers for the next 4,500 years. Whether because throughout history Jews have found themselves unjustly accused of crimes ranging from deicide to ritual child murder to treason, or because the biblical exhortation that justice, justice, shall you pursue has been implanted in the Jewish psyche, Jewish lawyers have been at the forefront in battles against tyranny, in advocating for those denied due process, in negotiating for just and equitable solutions to complex legal problems, and in efforts to ensure a fair trial for anyone accused of a crime.

Dershowitz profiles Jewish lawyers well-known and unheralded, admired and excoriated, victorious and defeatedand, of course, gives us some glimpses into the gung-ho practice of law, Dershowitz-style. Louis Brandeis, Theodor Herzl, Judah Benjamin, Max Hirschberg, René Cassin, Bruno Kreisky, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Irwin Cotler are just a few of the idol smashers, advocates, collaborators, rescuers, and deal makers who helped to change history. Dershowitzs thoughts on the future of the Jewish lawyer are presented with the same insight, shrewdness, and candor that are the hallmarks of his more than four decades of writings on the law and how it is (and should be!) practiced.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Abraham: The World's First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer

  - Publishers Weekly

In this fresh commentary, Dershowitz compares the words and actions of the biblical Abraham to the various historical archetypes of the Jewish lawyer. He asserts that Abraham may be seen as the ...

ABRAHAM: The World's First (but Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer

  - Kirkus

The great patriarch as a template for Jewish lawyers across the ages. Famed Harvard attorney Dershowitz (Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law, 2013, etc.) presents Abraham, father of three religions ...

Cover
God Meets Abramxand So Do
Abraham Refuses to Argue With God and With His Wife
Abraham Negotiates to Buy a Burial Cave for Sarah
The Trial of Jesus the Conviction of the Jews and
The Jewish Lawyer as Abrahamic Idol Smasher
Acknowledgments

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 (2015)

ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ is the New York Times best-selling author of more than thirty books. His articles have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Harvard Law Review, The Yale Law Journal, The Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, and has worked for more than fifty years in the areas of civil liberties, human rights, and criminal law. Honors he has received include the Anti-Defamation Leagues William O. Douglas First Amendment Freedom Award.


From the Hardcover edition.