Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

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#1 New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time
 
Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book


A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

 
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
 
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
 
Praise for Just Mercy
 
“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books
 
“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
 
“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”The Washington Post
 
“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times
 
“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham
 
“Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
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Bryan Stevenson
In this book I have taken true life events that have actually occurred in my lifetime. My inspiration was about a real life game of Russian roulette. The last soul survivor of five young teenage boys was the one who told me his story. They did not all die from the actual playing of the game, but it did cause the boys a deep depression that took their lives, one by one. However, they did not all die the way my book describes. In fact, one of the boys death’s was context I used from a real incident that took place when I was growing up. He was my friend. This boy was being bullied by six other teenage boys. After beating him up and ramming his head through a plate glass window of the local paramount theater, he decided to end it all and jump in front of a train. Bullying is a serious matter that can effect young minds in ways that are so horrible, you might not fi nd out what is really going on with them, until it is too late. May Tommy rest in peace. But I could not end this book here. I believe that when something bad happens, there are always good things to fall in its place. So I threw a few twists into my writings. There is a forest on the outskirts of my home town that was declared the historical cottonwoods, in which I use as the setting for this book. Wandering through the forest one day, I discovered a rather large naturally hollowed out cottonwood tree. This is where one lucky boys adventures begin. The boys built a real working elevator inside the tree that would lead to the bottom of a two story tree house they also constructed. But it does not end there. A magical book of secrets reveals itself. In this book it tells the story about an underground city as it really happens. Inside the hollow of the tree and approximately ten feet below the surface, an underground elevator is activated, once the owner of the book comes forward. This will lead to a hallway full of doors, each leading to mystical places beyond your wildest dreams. At the end of the first hallway is a rather large room where all hallways begin. A hidden ceiling door slides open with a thunderous ear deafening screech. It is the glass bottom of the Fraser river, in which you are able to view underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Down one of the hallways there is a door to an ancient library that tells the history of the underground. It is referred to as the spell room. There is also another door that leads to the four seasons. A big wooden door separates the hallways full of doors from an underground city called the Packs. Inside this city is a rather unique arena where there is a hockey game like you have never seen before.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Spiegel & Grau
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Published on
Oct 21, 2014
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780812994537
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Penology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Bryan Stevenson
In this book I have taken true life events that have actually occurred in my lifetime. My inspiration was about a real life game of Russian roulette. The last soul survivor of five young teenage boys was the one who told me his story. They did not all die from the actual playing of the game, but it did cause the boys a deep depression that took their lives, one by one. However, they did not all die the way my book describes. In fact, one of the boys death’s was context I used from a real incident that took place when I was growing up. He was my friend. This boy was being bullied by six other teenage boys. After beating him up and ramming his head through a plate glass window of the local paramount theater, he decided to end it all and jump in front of a train. Bullying is a serious matter that can effect young minds in ways that are so horrible, you might not fi nd out what is really going on with them, until it is too late. May Tommy rest in peace. But I could not end this book here. I believe that when something bad happens, there are always good things to fall in its place. So I threw a few twists into my writings. There is a forest on the outskirts of my home town that was declared the historical cottonwoods, in which I use as the setting for this book. Wandering through the forest one day, I discovered a rather large naturally hollowed out cottonwood tree. This is where one lucky boys adventures begin. The boys built a real working elevator inside the tree that would lead to the bottom of a two story tree house they also constructed. But it does not end there. A magical book of secrets reveals itself. In this book it tells the story about an underground city as it really happens. Inside the hollow of the tree and approximately ten feet below the surface, an underground elevator is activated, once the owner of the book comes forward. This will lead to a hallway full of doors, each leading to mystical places beyond your wildest dreams. At the end of the first hallway is a rather large room where all hallways begin. A hidden ceiling door slides open with a thunderous ear deafening screech. It is the glass bottom of the Fraser river, in which you are able to view underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Down one of the hallways there is a door to an ancient library that tells the history of the underground. It is referred to as the spell room. There is also another door that leads to the four seasons. A big wooden door separates the hallways full of doors from an underground city called the Packs. Inside this city is a rather unique arena where there is a hockey game like you have never seen before.
Matthew Desmond
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
J. D. Vance
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Barbara Ehrenreich
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