I left with a cool cat, Mark Twain impression of him and a signed copy. I have worked as an expert witness for defense attorneys and view trial lawyers negatively as greedy people who play the system claiming to help the litte guy but usually helping themselves finacially to a much greater extent. I picked it up kind of by accident but have since run into several people that have read or are reading it. As a sidenote, this book also made you wonder where all the women in Mississippi are, when the central characters and power players are all men. Wilkie is aware of exactly the place the skeletons, the money packing containers and the daggers are buried alongside the Mississippi backroads. There is no sense of justice served in the end. So before I tear into Adam Beade I decided to buy this book.
And he knows, ruefully — which is why this book demands a wide audience — that the south, no matter its looney sense of exceptionalism, is pretty much just like the rest of the planet. I don't think I've ever read a book with so many characters - and that includes Ben Hur with its cast of thousands. Their pursuit of the almighty dollar and their arrogance that the end justifies the means --ethics be damned-- make Scruggs and his associates easy to despise. Being a Mississippian who watched this play out in the news, this was a must-read for me. We take abuse seriously in our discussion boards. Perhaps a few more women in power in that state would do some good. It also details the connections made in college Old Miss that lasted a lifetime.
The first 180+ pages lay the groundwork ad nauseum for all the different characters that play a part in the actual scheme that is supposed to be the central point of the story but which in actuality only occupies perhaps 60 or so pages of the entire book. There is no sense of justice served in the end. This is far from the black and white story portrayed in the media, of a crime uncovered and prosecuted and wrapped up neatly. Yes, what the attorneys did was wrong, but in my opinion they allowed their emotions to get the best of them in the sentencing portion. Above all, we get to see how and why the mighty fail and fall, a story as gripping and timeless as a Greek tragedy. There are lawyers and senators and governors and even the vice-president of the United States.
As a side note, I met the author and his wife on a trip to Oxford, in the catfish restaurant referenced towards the end of the Fall of the House of Zeus. I met Dickie Scruggs in Pascagoula, Mississippi when I was 11-12 years old and he was 19-20. Have now finished it and would strongly reccomend to anyone, i that is an attorney, ii went to Ole Miss, iii is familiar with the North Mississippi legal community, or iv enjoys stories that end with the bad guys getting what they deserve. Wilkie knows precisely where the skeletons, the cash boxes and the daggers are buried along the Mississippi backroads. A brother-in-law of Trent Lott, the former U. But, boy, is it fascinating! Once I slogged through all that I wouldn't have bothered if it weren't a topic of high interest to me , the action picked up and I was hooked.
I have worked as an expert witness for defense attorneys and view trial lawyers negatively as greedy people who play the system claiming to help the litte guy but usually helping themselves finacially to a much greater extent. I kept having to go back to figure out who was who. Their pursuit of the almighty dollar and their arrogance that the end justifies the means --ethics be damned-- make Scruggs and his associates easy to despise. Personally, for me, this is a sad tale of hubris and greed but a book I could not put down. That being said, I absolutely do not condone any illegal actions taken by any of the participants and feel that they should be justly punished for any wrongdoing, but it's hard to believe that was accomplished.
Description The Fall of the House of Zeus tells the story of Dickie Scruggs, arguably the most successful plaintiff's lawyer in America. But, perhaps most troubling of all is the good-old-boy network and backroom dealings that were going on long before this and still continue on without pause. Here Mississippi is emblematic of the modern South, with its influx of new money and its rising professional class, including lawyers such as Scruggs, whose interests became inextricably entwined with state and national politics. A brother-in-law of Trent Lott, the former U. That part appeared very accurate from what I have observed in my short time here. The author is up front with the fact that he considers Dick Scruggs a friend.
I enjoyed this as an audiobook, my only complaint is the various names and backgrounds can be difficult to keep up with if you're listening on and off. Sometimes they assisted each other; other times they opposed each other; and sometimes they defended one another against various charges. It's almost like a real-life John Grisham novel, full of money, greed, corruption, under-handedness, political connections, planes, boats, automobiles, mansions and more. That was why I was surprised that by the end of the book, I had become sympathetic to the idea that, while not innocent of wrongdoing in the bribery cases that are at the center of this debacle, those convicted --with one notable exception -- Incredible inside look at the wheeling and dealing by high stakes trial lawyers and politicians. Although, when you do things wrong, you eventually have to pay for it. With the help of the ghosts of King Dickie's past enemies betrayed, the lot of fools surrounding him topple King Dickie's Kingdom of Torts, by acts of tomfoolery, greed and betrayal. I highly recommend this book.
Each and every person is described in such detail from where they went to elementary school, to the knick-knacks in their offices that I almost gave up on this book several times through. By that, I mean that most of the political leaders the people writing and enforcing the laws are just as corrupt as the petty theives and inmates filling Parchman penitentiary. Since retiring in 2000, Wilkie has been a faculty member at the University of Mississippi, where he holds the Kelly G. Even Scruggs, who I believe was sincere in trying to help other people, couldn't avoid helping himself a little too much too. So before I tear into Adam Beade I decided to buy this book.