Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

Preet Bharara. Knopf, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-52112-9
In this fascinating combination of memoir and ethical-legal manifesto, former U.S. attorney Bharara posits that "the model of the American trial has something to teach us... about debate and disagreement and truth and justice." He leads readers through the work of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, in sections dedicated to inquiry (asking questions, conducting fair interrogations), accusation (choosing if and when to levy charges), judgment (trials, verdicts), and punishment (sentencing, prison reform). His prose has the quality of a well-written speech, with philosophical pronouncements ("Doing justice sometimes requires... a spark of creativity or innovation") followed by supporting tales from both his legal career and his personal life, recounted in a superbly accessible and conversational, even humorous, tone (at one point contrasting media depictions of justice with "the real world... where testosterone doesn't flow like a river in the streets"). Bharara also reminds readers that, while the law is an incredible tool, it is people who create or corrupt justice. With its approachable human moments, tragic and triumphant cases, heroic investigators, and depictions of hardworking everyday people, this book is a rare thing: a page-turning work of practical moral philosophy. Agent: Elyse Cheney, the Cheney Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/11/2019
Release date: 03/19/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-525-52113-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-59578-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-59576-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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