Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer (Los Angeles 1911-1913)
Date: April 2021
Duration: 10 hours 23 minutes
Considered by many to be one of the best-known criminal defense lawyers in the country, Clarence Darrow became nationally recognized for his eloquence, withering cross-examinations, and compassionate support for the underdog, both in and out of the courtroom. Though his fifty-year-long career was replete with momentous cases, specifically his work in the Scopes Monkey Trial and the Leopold and Loeb Murder Trial, Darrow's Nightmare zeroes in on the two worst years of Darrow's career: 1911 to 1913. It was during this time period that Darrow was hired to represent the McNamara brothers, two union workers accused of bombing the Los Angeles Times building, an incident that resulted in twenty deaths and dozens more injuries. Along with investigative journalist Lincoln Steffens, Darrow negotiated an ambitious plea bargain on behalf of the McNamara brothers. But the plan soon unraveled; not long after the plea bargain was finalized, Darrow was accused of attempting to bribe a juror. As Darrow himself became a defendant in need of a lawyer, his shining moment in the national spotlight quickly became a slow dance in hell, threatening his career and family. Forgotten by history books, New York Times best-selling author Nelson Johnson brings two of the most tumultuous years of Darrow's life back to the forefront of conversation. Drawing upon the 8,500- page transcript saved from the two trials, Johnson makes Darrow's story come to life as never before. Darrow's Nightmare is a true story unlike any other-a historical courtroom thriller brought to life.