NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN, JAMIE FOXX, AND BRIE LARSON.
A NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, ESQUIRE, AND TIME BOOK OF THE YEAR.
A #1 New York Times bestseller, this is a powerful, true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America’s broken justice system, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice.
The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. One in every 15 people born there today is expected to go
to prison. For black men this figure rises to one in 3. And Death Row is disproportionately black, too.
Bryan Stevenson grew up poor in the racially segregated South. His innate sense of justice made him a brilliant young lawyer, and one of his first defendants was Walter McMillian, a black man sentenced to die for the murder of a white woman – a crime he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, startling racial
inequality, and legal brinkmanship – and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
At once an unforgettable account of an idealistic lawyer’s coming of age and a moving portrait of the lives of those he has
defended, Just Mercy is an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
‘Stevenson’s revelatory and thought-provoking memoir, Just Mercy, is a read that alters one’s empathy meter and forever sits deep within the psyche.’ — Jessica Bailey * Grazia * ‘Just Mercy presents a scathing expose of the inequalities, racial bias and discrimination that has characterised the US justice system … A profoundly important work.’ — Natalie Platten * Readings * ‘Stevenson reveals how much of a difference believing in someone and fighting their cause can make. An incredible story … may help fuel the fire on your own journey.’ * Wellbeing * ‘[T]he author’s experience with the flaws in the American justice system add extra gravity to a deeply disturbing and oft-overlooked topic.’ * Publishers Weekly * ‘This powerful book is a damning indictment of the US “justice” system, which has the world’s highest rate of incarceration … A gifted narrator as well as a great lawyer, from his long dedication to helping the poor to achieve justice and mercy, he has learned that “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.’ — Brian Maye * The Irish Times * ‘A passionate account of the ways our nation thwarts justice and inhumanely punishes the poor and disadvantaged.’ STARRED REVIEW — Vanessa Bush * Booklist * New York Times ‘100 Notable Books of 2014’ ‘Stevenson’s contributions to social justice have been remarkable. But his efforts, on top of his continuing legal practice, to provide this inside glimpse of the criminal justice system are priceless.’ * The Seattle Times * ‘Just Mercy is every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so … [It] demonstrates, as powerfully as any book on criminal justice that I’ve ever read, the extent to which brutality, unfairness, and racial bias continue to infect criminal law in the United States. But at the same time that [Bryan] Stevenson tells an utterly damning story of deep-seated and widespread injustice, he also recounts instances of human compassion, understanding, mercy, and justice that offer hope … Just Mercy is a remarkable amalgam, at once 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 * ‘A distinguished NYU law professor and MacArthur grant recipient offers the compelling story of the legal practice he founded to protect the rights of people on the margins of American society … Emotionally profound, necessary reading.’ STARRED REVIEW * Kirkus Reviews (Kirkus Prize Finalist) * ‘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 ‘After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., I wrote a couple of columns entitled When Whites Just Don’t Get It. The reaction to those columns – sometimes bewildered, resentful or unprintable – suggests to me that many whites in America don’t understand the depths of racial inequity lingering in this country. This inequity is embedded in our law enforcement and criminal justice system, and that is why Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela … Stevenson, 54, grew up in a poor black neighborhood in Delaware and ended up at Harvard Law School. He started the Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Ala., to challenge bias and represent the voiceless. It’s a tale he recounts in a searing, moving and infuriating memoir that is scheduled to be published later this month, Just Mercy.’ — Nick Kristof * New York Times * ‘Inspiring … A work of style, substance and clarity … Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller. His memoir should find an avid audience among players in the legal system – jurists, prosecutors, defense lawyers, legislators, academics, journalists – and especially anyone contemplating a career in criminal justice.’ — Rob Warden * Washington Post * ‘Unfairness in the justice system is a major theme of our age … This book brings new life to the story by placing it in two affecting contexts: Stevenson’s life work and the deep strain of racial injustice in American life … You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. Against tremendous odds, Stevenson has worked to free scores of people from wrongful or excessive punishment, arguing five times before the Supreme Court … The book extols not his nobility, but that of the cause, and reads like a call to action for all that remains to be done … The message of the book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man’s refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful … Bryan Stevenson has been angry about [the criminal justice system] for years, and we are all the better for it.’ * New York Times * ‘Powerful … This book will shock, anger and inspire you.’ * Sunday Independent (Ireland) * ‘Just Mercy is as deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty, and the failures of the administration of criminal justice … [It] will make you gasp at the inhumanity of humankind.’ — Raymond Bonner * Financial Times * ‘Our American criminal justice system has become an instrument of evil. Bryan Stevenson has labored long and hard, and with great skill and temperate passion, to set things right. Words such as important and compelling may have lost their force through overuse, but reading this book will restore their meaning, along with one’s hopes for humanity.’ — Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains ‘This is so important. Stevenson explains how deep-rooted racism is, while giving hope that it doesn’t have to exist.’ — Gloria Steinem ‘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 ‘From the frontlines of social justice comes one of the most urgent voices of our era. Bryan Stevenson is a real-life, modern-day Atticus Finch who, through his work in redeeming innocent people condemned to death, has sought to redeem the country itself. This is a book of great power and courage. It is inspiring and suspenseful. A revelation.’ — Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns ‘Bryan Stevenson is America’s young Nelson Mandela – a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all.’ — Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate
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