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A Lawyer's Journey: The Morris Dees Story (Biography)

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This book dramatically chronicles the significant events that led Morris Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade against hate groups.This is the story of the courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and controversial trail lawyer whose career has paralleled a nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for all its citizens. This book dramatically chronicles the significant events that led Morris Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade against hate groups.This is the story of the courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and controversial trail lawyer whose career has paralleled a nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for all its citizens.


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This book dramatically chronicles the significant events that led Morris Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade against hate groups.This is the story of the courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and controversial trail lawyer whose career has paralleled a nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for all its citizens. This book dramatically chronicles the significant events that led Morris Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade against hate groups.This is the story of the courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and controversial trail lawyer whose career has paralleled a nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for all its citizens.

30 review for A Lawyer's Journey: The Morris Dees Story (Biography)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jude Arnold

    It took me a long time to finish reading Morris Dees story. One reason for that is I did not take the book with my on my winter vacation. It's a heavy book, subject wise. It reminds me of growing up during the civil rights riots of the 1960's. Dees is a little older than I am. But we had similar experiences. My mom was from Mississippi and Dees is from the Southern US. We both knew suffering injustice due to color was something we could not tolerate. He has dedicated his career and the Southern Povert It took me a long time to finish reading Morris Dees story. One reason for that is I did not take the book with my on my winter vacation. It's a heavy book, subject wise. It reminds me of growing up during the civil rights riots of the 1960's. Dees is a little older than I am. But we had similar experiences. My mom was from Mississippi and Dees is from the Southern US. We both knew suffering injustice due to color was something we could not tolerate. He has dedicated his career and the Southern Poverty Law Center to shutting down the KKK; and I would say he has been blessed for his good work. If this subject matter is of interest to you, I can highly recommend Dees story. He writes with style and feeling; and shares this bitter cup from a lifetime of soul searching.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rosalind

    Received as a gift for donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center, this was sitting around the house for some time. I finally picked it up after finishing another book and lacking a follow up. I was happily surprised to find myself interested in it on several levels. Dees' personal story was unknown to me. It is a dramatic tale of a good old boy who grew up poor in the south, became a successful entrepreneur and eventually evolved into a civil rights lawyer and advocate. The detailed descriptio Received as a gift for donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center, this was sitting around the house for some time. I finally picked it up after finishing another book and lacking a follow up. I was happily surprised to find myself interested in it on several levels. Dees' personal story was unknown to me. It is a dramatic tale of a good old boy who grew up poor in the south, became a successful entrepreneur and eventually evolved into a civil rights lawyer and advocate. The detailed descriptions of his legal efforts are instructive in terms of what is required to successfully win a court case, money just being one factor, though clearly a very important one. His cast of characters is varied, including poor whites as well as blacks, Vietnamese immigrants, and politicians both local and nationally known. Having just done some research regarding white supremacists I found his involvement with these people added a lot to my understanding of certain individuals included in the book. His own personal journey through the era of the civil rights movement provides a rich context for that momentously eventful period.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I had a lot of doubts about this going in, because a) I received it unsolicited from the Southern Poverty Law Center when I made a donation (it's about the founder), b) I hadn't heard of Morris Dees, and c) it's published by the American Bar Association (rather than a traditional publishing house). Looking at all of those together, my baseline thought was, "What kind of propaganda is this?" It turns out that it was both great to read and I was probably right. Dees, as the founder of the SPLC, has I had a lot of doubts about this going in, because a) I received it unsolicited from the Southern Poverty Law Center when I made a donation (it's about the founder), b) I hadn't heard of Morris Dees, and c) it's published by the American Bar Association (rather than a traditional publishing house). Looking at all of those together, my baseline thought was, "What kind of propaganda is this?" It turns out that it was both great to read and I was probably right. Dees, as the founder of the SPLC, has done some amazing work fighting hate groups through the justice system in this country, and the stories are hair raising and intense. But even the most brief of internet searches will tell you that he is often criticized for being too slick, too much of a marketing guy, and too focused on fundraising. I'm glad I read the book. Inspiring stories about how each one of us can take a stand for justice MATTER. The book gets 4 stars, because it's well written and moving. Just do your research and know the big picture, too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susanna Sturgis

    A friend not only recommended this book but gave me her copy. It took me a while to get to it, but once I did I had a hard time putting it down. Dees grew up in Alabama, a resourceful and entrepreneurial young man who didn't set out to be one of the most remarkable civil-rights lawyers of our time. He was earning money as a farmer before he graduated from high school, and had a successful career in publishing and direct-mail marketing before he co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) an A friend not only recommended this book but gave me her copy. It took me a while to get to it, but once I did I had a hard time putting it down. Dees grew up in Alabama, a resourceful and entrepreneurial young man who didn't set out to be one of the most remarkable civil-rights lawyers of our time. He was earning money as a farmer before he graduated from high school, and had a successful career in publishing and direct-mail marketing before he co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and, eventually, Klanwatch. In this book he chronicles some of his major cases, with particular attention to the ones that put Bobby Shelton's United Klans of America and Glenn Miller's Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan effectively out of business. The tales are exciting, the crimes often horrifying, and the persistence and ingenuity of the various hate groups enough to make one take them seriously if one doesn't already. Just as important, the book conveys how much dedicated long-haul effort it takes to make the law serve justice for all, especially those without money or connections. It also demonstrates the importance of local roots. Dees is effective outside the courtroom as well as inside it because he knows his people and he's willing to talk with anyone who's willing to talk with him. The SPLC takes on cases all across the South, and it always works with lawyers from each case's own jurisdiction because they're intimately familiar with the local judges, politics, and public opinion. Because the cases overlap chronologically, it's sometimes hard to keep track of the myriad players. I resorted to the index many times to refresh my memory, and it always came through. I recently read Tom Wicker's A Time to Die (1975), in which Wicker blends a memoir of growing up in small-town North Carolina with his involvement as a citizen observer during the Attica prison uprising of 1971. Wicker, who died in 2011, was born a decade before Dees. Both books map the evolving terrain of black-white relations while charting its author's journey through it. Well worth reading, both of them -- but it's not hard to tell which author is the lawyer and which the journalist.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Morris Dees was a complicated and controversial trial lawyer, yet one of the United States earliest and best weapons for justice to the weak, suffering and impoverished. His habit was to frame a case large, for example, a lynching was not the murder of an individual but a manifestation of hate, tyranny and oppression. This emboldened juries to render historical decisions and sometimes exact penalties large enough to put white supremacists out of business entirely. He was a founding member of the Morris Dees was a complicated and controversial trial lawyer, yet one of the United States earliest and best weapons for justice to the weak, suffering and impoverished. His habit was to frame a case large, for example, a lynching was not the murder of an individual but a manifestation of hate, tyranny and oppression. This emboldened juries to render historical decisions and sometimes exact penalties large enough to put white supremacists out of business entirely. He was a founding member of the Southern Poverty Law Center which is extremely busy monitoring hate groups and fighting for the underrepresented right now in 2020.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Denise DeRocher

    What an autobio!! He deserves the praise he and others sing about him since his life has been threatened continually over the years, all in the name of justice and equality for all. As the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, of which I have been a member for many years, Dees' story is important to read - for all. What an autobio!! He deserves the praise he and others sing about him since his life has been threatened continually over the years, all in the name of justice and equality for all. As the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, of which I have been a member for many years, Dees' story is important to read - for all.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The Southern Poverty Law Center's co-founder Morris Dees tells how he came to founding the center, and some of the initial cases that made it such an important advocate (literally) for the victims of injustice and hate. Certainly many of the Center's clients have been non-whites--however as per the Center's full name, and made clear in Dees' philosophical thread woven here, it is ultimately class inequality and exploitation that have sown the hate in the first place. Although sometimes the writi The Southern Poverty Law Center's co-founder Morris Dees tells how he came to founding the center, and some of the initial cases that made it such an important advocate (literally) for the victims of injustice and hate. Certainly many of the Center's clients have been non-whites--however as per the Center's full name, and made clear in Dees' philosophical thread woven here, it is ultimately class inequality and exploitation that have sown the hate in the first place. Although sometimes the writing gets a little samey (he is a lawyer), and sometimes it was difficult to keep some of the many individuals with whom Dees worked differentiated, the arc of the story and the vignettes illustrated are extremely powerful. In the epilogue, Dees writes, "and if [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr] were speaking today, he might say, I have a dream that one day the sons and daughters of former slaves, and the sons and daughters of former slave owners, and the homeless, the powerless, the poor, and those who hold the economic judicial, and political power of this nation, will sit down at the table of personhood and truly learn to love one another." Dees believes lawyers can be--and at all levels, should be, the advocates of the powerless: "The gates of justice that sadly are being closed today to the powerless will come crashing open by the tidal wave lawyers can set in motion." Strong claims--but certainly anyone who has benefited from the system has a duty to set in motion means by which to share those benefits--because to disenfranchise (as plantation owners had done to blacks and poorer whites alike) breeds misdirected hate.

  8. 4 out of 5

    J.E.

    When I began reading this autobiography by the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, I had no way of knowing that mass murder with an AR-15 lay just around the corner in the state of Florida. AR-15s were a weapon of choice for the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups pursued by Morris Dees, at great risk to his own life. Having grown up white in the segregationist South, Dees had quite a journey to get to the point of defending his black neighbors' civil rights. In some ways, it When I began reading this autobiography by the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, I had no way of knowing that mass murder with an AR-15 lay just around the corner in the state of Florida. AR-15s were a weapon of choice for the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups pursued by Morris Dees, at great risk to his own life. Having grown up white in the segregationist South, Dees had quite a journey to get to the point of defending his black neighbors' civil rights. In some ways, it's the journey of the entire United States--a journey that is far from finished. Systematic racial discrimination, as well as violence by the Klan, were happening in the States (especially Southern states) much more recently than many people probably realize--certainly during my childhood. It is one thing to decry racist beliefs now that they are unpopular and those Americans who hold them are fighting a rearguard action. Dees became anti-racist at a time when this alienated him from his white neighbors, friends, family, and church. As a trial lawyer, he pursued justice on behalf of black people, Vietnamese immigrants, and others, even though his life was in danger from armed racist groups. Reading some of the history around refugees and defending the American way of life is too close to current affairs for my comfort. This is a worthwhile history of an inspiring organization that still does much to teach tolerance and combat hate today.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bap

    Morris Dees is a crusading lawyer, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is a fascinating story even though tHe writing falls short. The most interesting aspect of the story is his evolution from the son of a hard scrabble tenant farmer who worked hard and was a natural as a salesman and a capitalist who became rich by virtue of a mail order book business which gave him the luxury to take the cases he wanted to take, cases that made a difference. This book was promoted by the Americ Morris Dees is a crusading lawyer, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is a fascinating story even though tHe writing falls short. The most interesting aspect of the story is his evolution from the son of a hard scrabble tenant farmer who worked hard and was a natural as a salesman and a capitalist who became rich by virtue of a mail order book business which gave him the luxury to take the cases he wanted to take, cases that made a difference. This book was promoted by the American Bar Association which is an anomaly since he often packed a gun and engaged in aggressive tactics that were far beyond the mainstream I associate with the ABA. He continued to use his direct mail acumen to raise a ton of money to help underwrite his litigation strategies against the Clan and forces of injustice. Christina, you would particularly enjoy this book

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Doty

    As superintendent of Canyons School District, one of the most difficult situations I faced was an ugly racial conflict at Alta High School. We enlisted the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which graciously helped us repair the damage and implement some positive changes not only at Alta but throughout the district. Following a visit to the SPLC offices in Montgomery, Alabama, the SPLC staff gave me a copy of this book that was signed by the author, and the Center's founder, Morris Dees. I As superintendent of Canyons School District, one of the most difficult situations I faced was an ugly racial conflict at Alta High School. We enlisted the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which graciously helped us repair the damage and implement some positive changes not only at Alta but throughout the district. Following a visit to the SPLC offices in Montgomery, Alabama, the SPLC staff gave me a copy of this book that was signed by the author, and the Center's founder, Morris Dees. I finally read it, and was very inspired. Mr. Dees' work to bankrupt the KKK and bring justice to the victims of its hateful violence, is something all lawyers, educators, and those who care about civil rights should know about.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Tough reading but excellent

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandi Miller

    Rosa Parks read this book and said, "A Lawyer's Journey is a gripping study of man's inhumanity to man and the struggle against such injustice by Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center." Morris Dees founded the SPLC and courageously took on local, state, and national units of the Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, and the White Patriots' Party. Among others, he represented Vietnam fishermen, gays, and the families of blacks whose sons had been denied entrance to YMCA facilities or Rosa Parks read this book and said, "A Lawyer's Journey is a gripping study of man's inhumanity to man and the struggle against such injustice by Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center." Morris Dees founded the SPLC and courageously took on local, state, and national units of the Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, and the White Patriots' Party. Among others, he represented Vietnam fishermen, gays, and the families of blacks whose sons had been denied entrance to YMCA facilities or, worse, beaten mercilessly and lynched. He won judgments that bankrupted and caused the closing of major white supremacist organizations. To show how dangerous his mission was, here was a point system for Aryan warriors of The Order (for each kill): "Niggers-1, White race traitors-10, Jews-10, Judges-50, Morris Seligman Dees-888." Thanks to clever movements and bodyguards, and maybe just luck, Dees has lived to tell his tale. He is now 81, and the Southern Poverty Law Center is still hard at work keeping track of and helping to prosecute hate crimes. While this book (he's written others) is a little too detailed at times while describing trial preparation, it is worth the read, for sure!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    During the last presidential campaign, Donald Trump tapped a vein of bigotry in this country. Hate groups took comfort in his overt ethnic, religious, gender, and ethnic attacks. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, he was elected President. That this took place after 8 years of having a Nobel Peace Prize winning African-American President is evidence that the dark forces that have plagued this country from its inception are not fully defeated. In the past, my charitable contributions, modest as During the last presidential campaign, Donald Trump tapped a vein of bigotry in this country. Hate groups took comfort in his overt ethnic, religious, gender, and ethnic attacks. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, he was elected President. That this took place after 8 years of having a Nobel Peace Prize winning African-American President is evidence that the dark forces that have plagued this country from its inception are not fully defeated. In the past, my charitable contributions, modest as my means permit, targeted causes in health care and education. With the election of Donald Trump, I shifted to social causes and chose the Southern Poverty Law Center. because of its focus as an anti-hate organization. This book comes with membership and is well worth the read. It relates Morris Dees emergence as a leader in justice and civil rights. The focus is primarily on his battles with Klu Klux Klan. The story demonstrates the constant demand for us all to fight back against hate groups and bigotry. It was inspiring to read, but sad to consider that this battle remains a priority.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Evans

    Thank you Morris for telling your story, your way. I grew up in Montgomery listening to the gossip from your ex-wife, high school classmates, former employees and such. The stories were all enticing, angry, and jealous. Some of your cases brought back bitter childhood fears and loss of my own glory in whiteness. The trek from my inheritance of white superiority to a more equitable society was uncomfortable and cost me a peaceful opportunity for a 'normal' public school education that would glide Thank you Morris for telling your story, your way. I grew up in Montgomery listening to the gossip from your ex-wife, high school classmates, former employees and such. The stories were all enticing, angry, and jealous. Some of your cases brought back bitter childhood fears and loss of my own glory in whiteness. The trek from my inheritance of white superiority to a more equitable society was uncomfortable and cost me a peaceful opportunity for a 'normal' public school education that would glide me into a sweet government career. In spite of all this personal grief, I made my own way to personal success and happiness. With each step my eyes opened wider as you continued to risk your life fighting a good and noble fight. I'm proud of your successes and ashamed that our society still holds on to a miserable concept of white superiority. Thank you for your life's work. Thank you for telling your story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    I don't usually read biography or autobiography except now & then but in this case, I made a contribution to the SPLC some months ago & unexpectedly, they sent me this book in acknowledgement. When I first received it, I didn't know who Morris Dees was. Now I do know & I feel a great deal of respect for him. Recently we've been hearing a great deal of the good works & philosophy of Jimmy Carter & Carter richly deserves every good thing that is said about him. Morris Dees too is a white, Christia I don't usually read biography or autobiography except now & then but in this case, I made a contribution to the SPLC some months ago & unexpectedly, they sent me this book in acknowledgement. When I first received it, I didn't know who Morris Dees was. Now I do know & I feel a great deal of respect for him. Recently we've been hearing a great deal of the good works & philosophy of Jimmy Carter & Carter richly deserves every good thing that is said about him. Morris Dees too is a white, Christian from the Deep South (Alabama) who has spent his life working as a trial lawyer in the cause of justice - particularly just from the forces of hate & oppression. Dees is the founder of the SPLC & has worked tirelessly to oppose such organizations as the KKK & neo-Nazi white supremacist groups. Read about him. We need more like him!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    This was not an easy book to read, because of the subject matter. However, it's still important and I recommend it highly. Attorney Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, writes frankly about his background (including plans to become a minister) and the various civil rights cases in which he becomes involved before taking on the biggest of big guns in the traditional South: the Klan. There are discussions of lynchings and other Klan violence, as well as historical moments in the This was not an easy book to read, because of the subject matter. However, it's still important and I recommend it highly. Attorney Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, writes frankly about his background (including plans to become a minister) and the various civil rights cases in which he becomes involved before taking on the biggest of big guns in the traditional South: the Klan. There are discussions of lynchings and other Klan violence, as well as historical moments in the civil rights movements, from Dees' perspective of a defender of minority rights and foe of hate groups. As such hate groups have been emboldened in the current environment, Dees' work is more important than ever. As mentioned above, I highly recommend this book to all who are concerned about social justice matters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    An altogether inspiring book, remarkable for its vivid detail in describing a number of critical fights against the Klan and other hate groups in the U.S., and for its warmth of spirit. Dees's resourcefulness in using the strengths of the system to combat groups that were exploiting the weaknesses of the system is extraordinary, as are his persistence and his unswerving commitment to finding ways to help those who were harmed by hate. The Epilog is inspiring in itself. Highly recommended! (P.S. An altogether inspiring book, remarkable for its vivid detail in describing a number of critical fights against the Klan and other hate groups in the U.S., and for its warmth of spirit. Dees's resourcefulness in using the strengths of the system to combat groups that were exploiting the weaknesses of the system is extraordinary, as are his persistence and his unswerving commitment to finding ways to help those who were harmed by hate. The Epilog is inspiring in itself. Highly recommended! (P.S. I lost my original copy of this book when I accidentally left it on a plane after a trans-Atlantic flight. I was only halfway through and couldn't stand the thought of not finishing it. So I ordered a new copy and picked up where I left off. All's well that ends well!)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Francine

    The subject is heavy. I received this book after making a contribution. I knew the name of the author. I was busy raising children, dealing with chronic illness and working through the years the author chronicles. It brought me to tears more than once. I knew the stories from the news but this was a much more raw telling of the struggle. I weep because, as a retired person and a grandmother, I see that the next generations will still be fighting this good fight. America has not, unfortunately, co The subject is heavy. I received this book after making a contribution. I knew the name of the author. I was busy raising children, dealing with chronic illness and working through the years the author chronicles. It brought me to tears more than once. I knew the stories from the news but this was a much more raw telling of the struggle. I weep because, as a retired person and a grandmother, I see that the next generations will still be fighting this good fight. America has not, unfortunately, come so far as the evening news constantly reminds me. This is a good and necessary read. I will be giving this copy to my oldest child to read. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I received this for free because of my support for the Southern Poverty Law Center and I almost didn't read it because it was about events in the 80's. However, although I knew the SPLC was behind the bankrupting of the KKK, I didn't know the details. This is fascinating reading about Morris Dees and his work for racial justice. I am so glad I didn't turn it in to my local library for sale without reading it! It also mentions the Civil Rights Memorial and the Maya Lin Memorial in Montgomery, AL, I received this for free because of my support for the Southern Poverty Law Center and I almost didn't read it because it was about events in the 80's. However, although I knew the SPLC was behind the bankrupting of the KKK, I didn't know the details. This is fascinating reading about Morris Dees and his work for racial justice. I am so glad I didn't turn it in to my local library for sale without reading it! It also mentions the Civil Rights Memorial and the Maya Lin Memorial in Montgomery, AL, which I visited probably 10 years ago. That's probably the genesis of my yearly support of the SPLC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Brand

    Having lived in the two major states of his battles with the KKK and having been in NC when the Glen Miller trial was going on, this was a very interesting account for me. The major sadness is that everything he said and fought against in the 60's is still very much a reality and even exceeding relevant to our 2017 reality. White power. White justice, profiling, stacking the juries, and voter restrictions are returning with vengeance and the KKK is now supported and encouraged by the president o Having lived in the two major states of his battles with the KKK and having been in NC when the Glen Miller trial was going on, this was a very interesting account for me. The major sadness is that everything he said and fought against in the 60's is still very much a reality and even exceeding relevant to our 2017 reality. White power. White justice, profiling, stacking the juries, and voter restrictions are returning with vengeance and the KKK is now supported and encouraged by the president of our country.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Well-written, inspirational story by a lawyer who understands that the heart of a meaningful life is using one's natural abilities and particular circumstances to improve the conditions of others. "Few people get an opportunity to do something truly important with their lives," Dees tells a reluctant witness at one point. Dees is one of those few. I highly recommend this page-turner. This is an important history of the civil rights movement and the legal team that performed essential work in bri Well-written, inspirational story by a lawyer who understands that the heart of a meaningful life is using one's natural abilities and particular circumstances to improve the conditions of others. "Few people get an opportunity to do something truly important with their lives," Dees tells a reluctant witness at one point. Dees is one of those few. I highly recommend this page-turner. This is an important history of the civil rights movement and the legal team that performed essential work in bringing the civil rights laws from theory to reality.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I am a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center and its mission, but I really knew little about how the Center came into existence or about Morris Dees, a primary founder of the Center. This book filled in some of those gaps for me. Dees was born in raised in rural Alabama during the segregated era of the mid-twentieth century. He had hoped to become a farmer, but his father insisted that he become a lawyer. His father also taught him to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their skin I am a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center and its mission, but I really knew little about how the Center came into existence or about Morris Dees, a primary founder of the Center. This book filled in some of those gaps for me. Dees was born in raised in rural Alabama during the segregated era of the mid-twentieth century. He had hoped to become a farmer, but his father insisted that he become a lawyer. His father also taught him to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their skin color. Ultimately, those lessons would come to fruition in his battles for civil rights and his fight against hate groups such as the KKK and Aryan Nations. For the most part, this book is very readable. Dees is honest and likeable, and his stories are both informative and enlightening. At times, it requires a bit of effort to keep track of all the names floating about, but even when I had trouble keeping the players straight, the tension of the times was conveyed quite clearly. Dees has spent his life battling to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law, and his passion for this fight shines clearly here, making him a model for the rest of us.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dolina

    The noted civil rights lawyer and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center discusses his background and important cases he has worked on. He pays particular attention to cases seeking damages from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups that wound up basically bankrupting them. Given the rise of so many hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center continues to be of great relevance today. Dees tells his story and that of his organization well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    A really good overview of one part of legal fight against white supremacy. However, I wondered at times how much he white-washed his own image. Also, his story about getting three black men off rape convictions by convincing the jury that the white woman was drink gave me concerns about applying modern concepts of rape and consent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Higgins

    Wonderful and inspiring book. Dees is great with words and is raw with emotion. Sometimes it was challenging to follow the last case he described and keep track of all the characters involved, however, I have a new-found appreciation for lawyers such as Morris Dees and Bryan Stevenson who risk their lives for causes that matter to the good of humanity.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    I've long been interested in, and a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and this book was a perfect opportunity to learn more about both Mr. Dees and the founding and growth of the Center. The subject matter is difficult to get through, but I'm so impressed with Dees's ability to see Klan members as whole human beings, rather than simply hate mongers. Well worth the read. I've long been interested in, and a supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and this book was a perfect opportunity to learn more about both Mr. Dees and the founding and growth of the Center. The subject matter is difficult to get through, but I'm so impressed with Dees's ability to see Klan members as whole human beings, rather than simply hate mongers. Well worth the read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Morris Dees is one of the few people I see as a modern hero. He recounts how he came to do civil rights justice work and found the Southern Poverty Law Center. Some of his legal battles against the Klan are gripping.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    An important book to remind the reader of the struggle of minority victims to be represented legally, it describes the cases the Dees took on at great personal cost to fight the forces of racism and injustice.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    This book took me over seven months to finish.It is truly scary to read- and reminds one that all the men who Morris Dees fought in the courts believed in violence- and their descendants might very well be a huge part of the NRA. The roots of racism run truly deep.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Brugge

    There are plenty of interesting stories of historic trials in here, but it has too much of the sound of a hero telling his exploits. I think I would have enjoyed a third person telling of Dees’ life better, and been less distracted by the melodramatic cadence of the stories.

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