The Champion

January/February 2003 , Page 61 

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Gideon's Trumpet: The Clarion Call for Justice

By Stephen Glassroth

For more than a dozen years, Clarence Earl Gideon lay buried in a nondescript, unmarked grave in Hannibal, Missouri. Most Americans outside of the legal community (and many within it) would neither recognize Gideon’s name, nor understand the seismic impact he had on our legal system. Fortunately, Anthony Lewis, the renowned journalist now retired from The New York Times, chronicled Gideon’s saga from the filing of his hand-written petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court to the momentous decision of March 18, 1963. Lewis brings to life the story of the man behind the case, the legal machinations of the court appointed lawyer (and others working with him) toiling on Gideon’s behalf and the inner-workings of the Supreme Court. By telling the story, Lewis has preserved an important piece of legal and social history and we are all the richer for his doing so.

First published in 1964, Gideon’s Trumpet is a timeless treatment of one man’s passionate quest to right a perceived wr

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