An interesting story of a victory for justice led by a hero lawyer and gritty, never-say-die crusaders who worked around the...

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CIVIL WARRIORS

THE LEGAL SIEGE ON THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY

An account of the 30-year war waged by lawyers, scientists, whistle blowers, and health crusaders against the tobacco companies. Investigative journalist Zegart spent five years researching a complicated story of dying lung cancer victims who sued tobacco companies (such as Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Brown & Williamson) through the efforts of Ron Motley, a southern lawyer who won many product liability cases involving asbestos. Motley could not forget the memory of his mother, a heavy smoker, dying painfully of lung cancer, and he gradually built up a file of research scientists (who proved that the biochemistry of human cells was changed by the addictive nature of nicotine) and whistle blowers (who provided the evidence that tobacco companies suppressed public knowledge of the addictive qualities of nicotine). He also discovered evidence that at least one company spiked extra nicotine into the cigarettes to create permanently addicted customers. When many state attorneys-general combined their efforts to defeat Big Tobacco in court, it was found that companies had known for years from their own research that cigarette smoking was a leading cause of lung cancer but had lied about it.

An interesting story of a victory for justice led by a hero lawyer and gritty, never-say-die crusaders who worked around the clock for years. A glossary of the numerous characters coming in and out of the book could have aided the reader, however.

Pub Date: June 20, 2000

ISBN: 0-385-31935-5

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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