My Father and Atticus Finch

My Father and Atticus Finch : A Lawyer's Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama

3.63 (237 ratings by Goodreads)
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As a child, Joe Beck heard about his father's legacy: Foster Beck had once been a respected trial lawyer who defied the unspoken code of 1930s Alabama by defending a black man charged with raping a white woman. A lawyer himself, Beck became intrigued by the similarities between his father's story and Harper Lee's iconic novel.

Beck reconstructs his father's role in the 1938 trial-much publicised when Harper Lee was twelve years old-in which the examining doctor testified before a hostile courtroom that there was no evidence of intercourse or violence. Nevertheless, the all-white jury voted to convict. This riveting memoir explores how race, class and the memory of the American South's defeat in the Civil War produced the trial's outcome and how these issues compare with the American literary imagination.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 150 x 218 x 23mm | 380g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0393285820
  • 9780393285826
  • 1,667,274

Review quote

[A] a powerful telling of injustice in a less tolerant time.--Seth Kantner As a lawyer himself, author Beck lays out the circumstances of the case with gripping, almost cinematic detail... [F]ascinating.--Bridget Thoreson Joseph Madison Beck's enthralling memoir on humanity, justice, and the world we live in... is one full of emotion and suspense in equal measure.--Blake Fournoy Joseph Beck's book is based on facts... and those details make his story fresher and more alive than [Harper Lee's] justifiably oft-told narrative.--Johnathan Ringel Joe Beck's vivid account of a racially charged rape case in South Alabama in 1938 is a loving tribute to his father's courage as a young attorney standing up to the evils of Jim Crow. It is also a gripping courtroom drama--with trial evidence and testimony based on facts, not fiction--that draws a haunting portrait of a search for justice.--Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center founder A poignant and warmly engaging memoir. An insightful window into the everyday life of small-town Alabama in the 1930s... A sad but gripping account.--Ryan Claringbole While this case may or may not have subconsciously influenced Harper Lee, [the author's father] Foster Beck's story is one worth knowing and full of lessons valuable three quarters of a century later.
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About Joseph Madison Beck

Joseph Madison Beck is an Atlanta attorney. He also teaches at
Emory Law School and has lectured at universities throughout
the United States and abroad.
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Rating details

237 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 17% (41)
4 38% (91)
3 36% (86)
2 6% (15)
1 2% (4)
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