The People's Lawyer

The Colorful Life and Times of Julian L. McPhillips, Jr.

Title Details

Pages: 480

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 03/01/2005

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8069-2

List Price: $24.95


NewSouth Books

The People's Lawyer

The Colorful Life and Times of Julian L. McPhillips, Jr.

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Acclaimed novelist Carroll Dale Short turns his talents toward creative nonfiction in The People's Lawyer, the biography of local personality and national figure Julian McPhillips Jr.—a man as paradoxical as the South in which he lives. The story follows McPhillips's journey from his childhood in tranquil Cullman, Alabama, to his athletic career and studies at Princeton, and on to an activist era at Columbia Law School. Recounting the one-time assistant attorney general's path toward being one of the leading Alabama trial attorneys, Short reveals a man driven by his beliefs and his finely etched sense of justice and morality. Along the way, amidst McPhillips's police brutality cases and continued legal battles with Alabama governors, Short delves into the life, personality, and habits of McPhillips—a life involving local and national politics, church trials, sexual harassment cases, faith healers, and family, all against the continually evolving backdrop of the body politic of Montgomery.

As a fellow attorney put it, Julian is one of the few lawyers "who could represent Che Guevara one day and William Buckley the next."

This book tells the story of an unusual lawyer whose distinguished track record illuminates the many civil rights issues still facing our society at the beginning of a new century. Julian McPhillips has shaped a career around moral choices important not just to him but to the disadvantaged and the powerless. His biography is an eloquent portrait of a determined, hard-working advocate for the people, and it is also a road map to where civil rights battles are being fought today.

—Martin Luther King III

Whether standing up for those in need, or helping my campaign in the South, Julian’s actions speak louder than words. In these pages, we see the foundation of his determination and his character, and we see the colorful and complex backdrop of history and politics against which his life has unfolded.

—Bill Bradley

About the Author/Editor

CARROLL DALE SHORT is both a novelist and journalist, whose fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, American Lawyer, the Birmingham News, Roanoke Review, and other periodicals. His previous books include I Left My Heart in Shanghi, Alabama; A Migration of Clowns: Poems and Essays; and The Shining Shining Path.