This is a nice description of life long travel of Jewish orthodox boy from his Brooklyn background with Yeshiva education to the top of the world as famous lawyer, professor, and writer, powered by combination of intelligence, cultural training for legalistic discussions, and, to significant extent, by opportunities created by previous generation of Jewish lawyers well established at the top of profession by the mid of XX century in America.
The book is divided into 4 parts with first part mainly biographical story, the second part dedicated to AD’s fight for the freedom of speech and reviewed based on 7 legal cases; the third part dedicated to criminal justice and reviewed based on another 7 criminal cases; and the fourth part dedicated to AD’s understanding of equality and justice and his fight for these values based on 3 global issues: Race, Religion and State, and Human Rights vs. Human Wrongs.
I could not say that I was surprised, but I was definitely glad to see that AD despite his left wing background is intelligent enough to stray away from left wing orthodoxy. The fact that he is deeply Jewish while left wing zealots are increasingly becoming Anti-Semitic, obviously has some impact on his progress, but I inclined to think that it is driven more by power of his intellect. After all with XX century’s temporary triumphs of International, then National Socialisms and, eventually, Welfare state followed up by defeat of National Socialism of developed world (Germany and Japan) in WWII, slow disintegration of National Socialism of third world, spectacular falling apart of International Socialism of Soviet Union and Welfare State failure happening before our eyes now, it is more then difficult to remain both intellectually honest and politically Left wing at the same time.
On legal ideas that AD presents in his book I probably agree with some 60-70% with his opinions and I think remaining 30-40% seems to be not completely ossified in his mind so it would be interesting to hear more extensive discussion of them with somebody of equal intellectual capabilities.