New York Times Review
"…. the matter of O. J. Simpson remains a defining moment in late 20th-century American history, a kind of morality play like the Dreyfus affair in France roughly 100 years ago, incarnating the most intense passions of the time. That is one reason that ''American Tragedy,'' by Lawrence Schiller and James Willwerth, is not only justified in its sheer copiousness, but also a valuable, gripping and illuminating work.
In the already vast Simpson literature, this book reaches the furthest into the pith of the event, telling on an almost day-to-day basis the way the defense team labored, plotted and squabbled its way toward rescuing Mr. Simpson from what might very likely have been a conviction on charges of murder. And in this sense, ''American Tragedy'' will help us cope with the deeper questions concerning racial morality and justice raised by the Simpson affair.
The authors, in one of their more astonishing passages, show Mr. Simpson's lawyers redecorating his house in preparation for a visit there by the jury. They took away the picture that Mr. Simpson kept near the fireplace in his bedroom showing his white girlfriend of the time in a nude pose; they put a photograph of him and his mother on his bedside table. Then, to give Mr. Simpson's home ''something depicting African-American history,'' aimed at arousing the sympathy of the mostly black jury, they brought in a Norman Rockwell 1963 painting, ''The Problem We All Live With,'' showing a black grade school girl walking to class surrounded by Federal marshals.
If you are going to read only one book on the case of O. J. Simpson, this is a strong candidate to be it."
-- By RICHARD BERNSTEIN, New York Times
"I couldn't stop reading American Tragedy. My old friend and colleague Larry Schiller has come up with a book that is impossible to put down. I haven't turned pages this quickly in years, and the surprise of it for me is that I hated the O.J. Simpson case while it was going on."
- Norman Mailer
From Original Hardcover Sleeve:
Nothing written about the Simpson case can possibly prepare the reader for the revelations in this book: the untold story, from murder to acquittal, written from deep within the Simpson defense by a master reporter. Each turning point in the months-long investigation and trial is recounted in authentic, often startling detail in the words of Simpson's confidants, woven brilliantly into a narrative that will rivet you from beginning to end.
In telling this story, Schiller has created a work that will be read now and for years to come as a classic account of a brilliant if turbulent legal defense, the inside story to end all inside stories of the Trial of the Century.
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About the Author
JAMES WILLWERTH, who collaborated on this book, was born in 1943 and has published four books, including Eye in the Last Storm, a journal of the Vietnam War. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley he joined Time magazine, where he has been a correspondent specializing in social and psychiatric issues for thirty years. His stories have received awards from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the American Bar Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.