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Reversal of Fortune: Inside the Von Bulow Case Paperback – 3 Jan 1991

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Paperback, 3 Jan 1991

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (3 Jan. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140138625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140138627
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.8 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 997,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By P. L. M. Case on 12 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
An interesting background to this extraordinary courtroom drama.
The case itself had interesting real-life elements of money, power, family relationships and a most intriguing trial, appeal and subsequent re-trial.
Worth a read if this interests you.
Out of print, so I got a used book: very good condition. Well done Amazon and its bookseller!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a good read. It is not a book one would want to read again but it makes the trials very clear and puts Von Bulow's case very well. Also it doesn't dwell too much on the more "gory" side of the case. A well-put-together book. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For people like myself who like true life stories this was great.
Unlike some legal cases this was not heavy going for the lamen.
Re-reading it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great telling of an unusual case 19 Mar. 2000
By Thomas Stamper - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Those who remember the Von Bulow trial will remember the strong arguments for and against his guilt, but even if you have never heard of him, you should read this book. Dershowitz lays out the case from beginng to end. Its best asset is a clear and concise presentation that tells the story well without wasting words. As we learn the story we are taught about legal procedures and the strategy lawyers use to win cases. Dershowitz is very realistic about the law and is very honest about the system. The book was an entertaining education.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very Interesting and Engaging 1 Sept. 2003
By Heather Negahdar - Published on
Format: Paperback
A true to life story involving the Rhode Island couple Martha "Sunny" von Bülow and her husband Claus von Bülow whowas accused of injecting her with insulin, sending her straight into a coma. We were made to understand that Claus did this so that he could marry his mistress Alexandra Isles; a soap opera actress.
But in this worth while reading book by Alan M. Dershowitz, Claus final attorney, new evidence is introduced which is quite surprising as this case's conclusion take on a different twist. Most of the things that were hidden from the jury and the state are now brought to light; mouths that were clamped shut are opened now, and people who did not have a thing to do or say in the first trial are coming out of the woodwork.
Reversal of Fortune is filled with photographs which will enlighten you as to who is who in this family and those who helped with the case.
This book is a must for those who like true crime; as it promises to be very entertaining and makes for interesting reading. this day August 31st 2003, Sunny von Bülow still lies in a coma.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Reversal of Fortune: Inside the Von Bulow Case 4 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book rates highly for two reasons. One is that it presents the Von Bulow case, from the first trial to the appellate process to the not guilty verdict with an excitingly clear point of view. Dershowitz makes no attempt to hide his own awe and sometimes disdain of the life of the Newport rich. This first hand view is as honest a look at the case as it is the Rhode Island justice system. This is the second reason. I am neither from the US nor a lawyer and I was never lost for a minute. Dershowitz must be a treat to his students, as he is to his readers who only know about the Von Bulow trials from what they saw on television. His style of writing is simple and explanatory without being heavy-handed. All the excitement about the entire case is brought to vivid life and what's more, he is in the almost unique position to know, and reveal, incidents that were unable to be released to the public during the second trial. Amazing incidents are recounted with simpilcity that do not detract from their fantastic nature. Often, I wondered if I was reading a piece of fiction. But the author never lets you think that for long. His own frustrations, caution, humour, tensions and thrills are all felt by the reader as if he were a close observer. Despite his brutally honest tone, he makes a human being of Claus von Bulow, almost a likeable man, dreadfully afraid for his life and not his reputation. Von Bulow's attitude, actions and demenaour not only wins over Dershowitz, but the reader as well. His vulnerablity is treated with courtesy by Dershowitz, whose own personality is revealed without large doses of ego. He never forgets to thank his assistants (some of which are his own students) for their contributions. Never does the author allow legalese to cloud the book, instead he tells a good, clear story that can work for the reader looking for a good book to curl up with or the law student wanting to read a good case study without falling asleep over boring writing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A better understanding 13 Jan. 2003
By "zwerver" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before more spectacular criminal trials, such as that of OJ Simpson, captured the nation's emotions, the von Bulow case was the criminal case on which more conflicting opinions were launched than on even really important matters of national interest. Dershowitz has his own opinions obviously (doesn't he always?), but here he is remarkably evenhanded, even though he is, was and remains the appellate advocate in the von Bulow case.
His narrative of the events, personalities and relationships in the case is very illuminating and relevant. If one is still interested in this old case, this book should be read. If one has strong opinions on the case, this book must be read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Almost everyone who reads the book will enjoy it. I know I did 14 Oct. 2014
By Joseph J. Hines - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As always, Professor Dershowitz has written a spellbinding legal mystery book. Almost everyone who reads the book will enjoy it. I know I did.

Also characteristic of the Dershowitz works I have read, there is a dark side to the tale, a warning. In this case, the corruption, bias, prejudice and outright dishonesty of the Rhode Island Courts, prosecutor's office and home-boy lawyers' network are chilling. When you finish this book you will know that if you have a problem in Providence, Rhode, Island, and if you are not a well-connected and well-heeled local, you need to make your move to Belize or someplace- and fast. You're not getting any justice.

This book was written years ago. His more recent writings still beat that drum- the legal system is not to be trusted, at least not if you are an ordinary American. Individual guilt or innocence are largely irrelevant compared to attitudes and predispositions of judges and personal proclivity and political aspiration of prosecutors.

Read this book, and enjoy it.

Then, beware.
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