The Featured Book of the Week is The Trial in American Life by Robert A. Ferguson and published by The University of Chicago Press.
“Since the earliest days of our nation, high-profile trials have captivated the American imagination. But such trials are more than mere spectacle: by providing a forum for discussion of contentious issues, they also serve as public ceremonies and barometers of thought. In The Trial in American Life, Robert Ferguson argues that we can only understand the importance of pivotal trials by examining their public impact as well as their legal significance…Ultimately, such questions lead Ferguson to the issue of modern press coverage of courtrooms. While acknowledging that media accounts can skew perceptions, Ferguson argues forcefully in favor of television coverage—and he takes the Supreme Court to task for its failure to grasp the importance of this issue. Trials must be seen to be understood, but Ferguson reminds us that we have a duty, currently ignored, to ensure that cameras serve the court rather than the media…”- Book Description
“A distinguished law professor, accomplished historian, and fine writer, Robert Ferguson is uniquely qualified to narrate and analyze high-profile trials in American History. This is a superb book and a tremendous achievement. The chapter on John Brown alone is worth the price of admission.” – Judge Richard A. Posner
The Trial in American Life will be available to borrow after Friday, November 16, 2007