John A. Farrell: "Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned"

John A. Farrell: "Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned"

In the early decades of the 20th century, Clarence Darrow took on big, lost, unpopular causes -- murders, anarchists, the innocent and the guilty. Biographer, John Farrell, explores the life of America's best known defense attorney who forged the heroic archetype of the American lawyer.

A century ago, if you had a hopeless legal case, Clarence Darrow was the attorney you wanted. From his humble beginnings in rural Ohio, Darrow became America's advocate for poor workers, as well as social and political outcasts. His marathon closing arguments won over juries and freed men doomed to hang. His 1925 defense of John Skopes in the so-called "Monkey Trial" cemented his role as America's greatest defense lawyer. But the champion of the underdog fought his own demons: depression, philandering, and bribery. Diane and biographer John Farrell talk about the conflicted legacy of Clarence Darrow.

Guests

John Farrell

Journalist and author

Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from "Clarence Darrow" by John A. Farrell. Copyright 2011 by John A. Farrell. Reprinted with permission by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved:

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