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The Making of a Country Lawyer [Hardcover]

Gerry Spence
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 437 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (Oct 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312146736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312146733
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,816,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

The author, who has defended Karen Silkwood and Randy Weaver among others, recounts his life growing up in Wyoming and the tragic event that caused him become an attorney. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Frank and credible autobiographical romp 6 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
From the perspective of an older 2L law student, Spence represents the attorney many of us aspire to become; few, however, would be prepared to ride the rough road so candidly revealed in this study of a an oddessy laced with hypocrisy, courage, gallantry, cowardice, dispair, introspection, brilliance, and soul searching. Spence is one who has experience a full measure of living. While wiser now and in the hot light of celebrity, one cannot help but pity those he alienated along the way, which by his own admission was practically everyone in Riverton, WY. Still, seeing his commentary on cable, and having read what made him who he is, the enlightened Spence, minus the demons that haunted him for so long, still seems a paradox: folksy, yet cunning, humane, but as yet untamed, compassionate, yet still possessing the hunter's instnct. An interesting life emerges from these pages put in frank, sometimes self-deprecating terms that allows for a credible and surprisingly humble autobiographical romp,
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5.0 out of 5 stars A personal, frank & moving story. 13 Feb 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I enjoy biographies and dislike most lawyers. This book caught my eye and since I had seen Mr. Spence on TV many times I checked it out of the library. I had been somewhat put off by his fringed jacket-Wyoming-cowboy persona and was prepared to dislike this book; now I can't wait to read the rest of his oeuvre. Mr. Spence shares the most intimate details of his life,including the reasons for his choice of wardrobe. His story is a fascinating one and it is told with both charm and passion. I enjoyed his descriptions of his early years hunting and working on his family's farms, evoking a vanishing America, or at least one that few of us will ever know or know anything about. He writes of the most important incident of his life, his mother's suicide, and how he finally broke the crippling bonds of guilt that tortured him for years, without self pity and with great literary skill. I salute him for sharing his story with us in such a moving and thoughtful way.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is the 400 page story of one of America's most intriguing and venerable attorneys. Starting with the stormy night he was born, Gerry Spence chronicles his childhood, oftentimes in great detail. The pain and the joy, the bittersweet achievements and the enlightening failures Spence faced during the first 30 years of his life occupy the first two thirds of the book. The pace quickens as Spence reveals the next 20 years in the remaining hundred pages. Don't look for too much recapitulation of his landmark trials in this book. Partly because they are chronicled in separate texts, and partly because the "trials didn't make the man," Spence mentions his early trials only in passing. In an "About the Author" page, the Karen Silkwood, Penthouse, U.S. Steel, Aetna Insurance, Imelda Marcos, and Randy Weaver cases are given a cursory mention.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Gerry spence is a slow talking and reserved attorney turned celebrity. Too bad he does not focus his talents on death row inmates in need of adequate defense. Mr. Spence, it is time to save the lives the nation is so horrifyingly attemting (and succeeding I might add)to snuff out. In a land where murder turned law is a sign of the times, someone with vision needs to be visible. You should welcome a clean concious as much as you welcome media attention. I don't care about O.J. Simpson, but I do care about those tortured in awaiting shameless public execution. The mob is on the rise, Mr. Spence, the innocent are the damned. One cannot know the true love of a woman without knowing true love for ones fellow man. Don't retire yet, Mr. Spence. Dazzle the law with your brilliance at the helm of this corrupt yet salvageable system. Save lives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal, frank & moving story. 13 Feb 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoy biographies and dislike most lawyers. This book caught my eye and since I had seen Mr. Spence on TV many times I checked it out of the library. I had been somewhat put off by his fringed jacket-Wyoming-cowboy persona and was prepared to dislike this book; now I can't wait to read the rest of his oeuvre. Mr. Spence shares the most intimate details of his life,including the reasons for his choice of wardrobe. His story is a fascinating one and it is told with both charm and passion. I enjoyed his descriptions of his early years hunting and working on his family's farms, evoking a vanishing America, or at least one that few of us will ever know or know anything about. He writes of the most important incident of his life, his mother's suicide, and how he finally broke the crippling bonds of guilt that tortured him for years, without self pity and with great literary skill. I salute him for sharing his story with us in such a moving and thoughtful way
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frank and credible autobiographical romp 6 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
From the perspective of an older 2L law student, Spence represents the attorney many of us aspire to become; few, however, would be prepared to ride the rough road so candidly revealed in this study of a an oddessy laced with hypocrisy, courage, gallantry, cowardice, dispair, introspection, brilliance, and soul searching. Spence is one who has experience a full measure of living. While wiser now and in the hot light of celebrity, one cannot help but pity those he alienated along the way, which by his own admission was practically everyone in Riverton, WY. Still, seeing his commentary on cable, and having read what made him who he is, the enlightened Spence, minus the demons that haunted him for so long, still seems a paradox: folksy, yet cunning, humane, but as yet untamed, compassionate, yet still possessing the hunter's instnct. An interesting life emerges from these pages put in frank, sometimes self-deprecating terms that allows for a credible and surprisingly humble autobiographical romp,
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's behind the curtain? 25 Aug 2000
By Aviator - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although I found this book to be interesting, I still feel it lacked something. Spence tells us of his growing up, his reason for becoming a lawyer, and the trials and tribulations in life. All well and good, but what isn't he telling us? If you over look the fact that one man cannot be this great (at least I don't think so)then the book will give you some insight into his world. The review of his cases are fasinating, and there is no argue from me that he is a fantastic Attorney. Overall an enjoyable book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest story of an interesting life 17 Feb 2007
By Jeff Barnaby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It has been said that it takes a great deal of courage for a person to take both their private thoughts and sacred moments and put them down on paper for another person to read. This is what Gerry Spence has done with his autobiography, and he should be congratulated for doing so. Spence is renowned for his landmark victories in court, including the Karen Silkwood estate, The defense of Randy Weaver, and the acquittal of Imelda Marcos. This story is not about that chapter in Spence's life, it is about the life of the young man who became this lawyer. Spence spends a fair amount of time talking about personal intimate details of his youth that most people would prefer to forget about, let alone share with perfect strangers. For me, this is where Spence's courage deserves to be applauded. Spence now presents himself as a kind understanding gentleman who is capable of dealing respectfully will those from all walks of life -- one of the many reasons he is so successful at handling jury trails. To read his own story, this was not always the case. I have read other reviews of this book from people who were shocked to learn the details of this man's teenage, young adult, and middle adult years and seemed to hold it against him. To me, Spence is not ashamed, as he should not be, about the path his life has taken. He offers no apology, and does not owe us one. He simply describes in detail the story of the first half (approximately) of his life with insight as to how it created the Gerry Spence that we all now know and love.

Some parts of the book to tend to get a little long and drawn out. This is simply Spence being Spence. He is never in a hurry to tell his stories and likes to let them meander. They are his stories and this one is about his life, so he should tell it his way.

My final thoughts of this book are not so much about he book itself, but something that happen right after I finished it. I had read several of Spence's works in succession. This book was the last. Not long afterward I sat down one Saturday afternoon and send him an e-mail telling him what I had read and that I appreciated his writing and his work. I sent the mail not really expecting anything and took off for the gym. I came home a few hours later and found a reply in my Inbox from Gerry thanking me and telling me that I had made his day. It was nice to know that I was able to talk briefly with a renowned figure.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A SELECTIVE CHRONOLOGY, BUT A GREAT BOOK NONETHELESS... 21 Oct 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the 400 page story of one of America's most intriguing and venerable attorneys. Starting with the stormy night he was born, Gerry Spence chronicles his childhood, oftentimes in great detail. The pain and the joy, the bittersweet achievements and the enlightening failures Spence faced during the first 30 years of his life occupy the first two thirds of the book. The pace quickens as Spence reveals the next 20 years in the remaining hundred pages. Don't look for too much recapitulation of his landmark trials in this book. Partly because they are chronicled in separate texts, and partly because the "trials didn't make the man," Spence mentions his early trials only in passing. In an "About the Author" page, the Karen Silkwood, Penthouse, U.S. Steel, Aetna Insurance, Imelda Marcos, and Randy Weaver cases are given a cursory mention
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