This volume presents a selection of 500 letters by Clarence Darrow, the pre-eminent courtroom lawyer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Randall Tietjen selected these letters from over 2,200 letters in archives around the country, as well as from one remarkable find—the kind of thing historians dream about: a cache of about 330 letters by Darrow hidden away in the basement of Darrow’s granddaughter’s house. This collection provides the first scholarly edition of Darrow’s letters, expertly annotated and including a large amount of previously unknown material and hard-to-locate letters. Because Darrow was a gifted writer and led a fascinating life, the letters are a delight to read. This volume also presents a major introduction by the editor, along with a chronology of Darrow’s life, and brief biographical sketches of the important individuals who appear in the letters.
List of Illustrations
Chronology of Darrow’s Life
Randall Tietjen is a partner in the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lives in Edina, Minnesota, with his wife and two children.
"Twenty years in the making, In the Clutches of the Law will remain the best reference work and biographical portrait of Darrow for another 20 years and more."—Marion Elizabeth Rodgers The Washington Times
“Clarence Darrow was an American original: at once idealistic and pragmatic, a hopeful reformer and a hopeless determinist; revered and reviled. In this first-ever comprehensive compilation of Darrow’s wide-ranging personal correspondence, we learn the private side of America’s most celebrated lawyer. This remarkable collection will deepen our understanding of a near-legendary figure.”—Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion
"This is one of the three best books on Clarence Darrow ever published. It stands with the Arthur Weinberg collection of Darrow’s courtroom speeches and Darrow’s autobiography. Tietjen has not only collected letters that provide insight into Darrow’s life and character; he has provided commentary and narrative context that make this book a joy to read.”—Michael E. Tigar, lawyer, Emeritus Professor of Law, Washington College of Law and Duke University
"As this exceptional collection of newly discovered letters shows so well, Clarence Darrow fought for free speech and civil liberties when few other lawyers dared raise their voices. Randall Tietjen combines impeccable scholarship, legal expertise and a passion for his subject. The result is an informative, entertaining book that shows Darrow in all of his dimensions. A major, stunning resource."—Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, author of Mencken: The American Iconoclast