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USA: My Life as a Radical Lawyer

Thursday 26 November 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://www.orbooks.com/catalog/moving-the-bar/?mc_cid=c516517315&mc_eid=c0032fe7c6

25 novembre 20

Moving the Bar

MY LIFE AS A RADICAL LAWYER

MICHAEL RATNER

With an Introduction by MICHAEL SMITH

“There are two types of people in this world, those who care and those who don’t. If you care as deeply and passionately as Michael Ratner, the suffering of the oppressed forces you to become a radical.”
—Chris Hedges

Michael Ratner was one of America’s leading human rights lawyers. In a career that spanned five decades up to his death in 2016, Ratner was involved in a wide range of high-profile cases. From working with William Kunstler in pursuing justice after the notorious prison massacre at Attica, to representing the revolutionary governments in Cuba and Nicaragua and prisoners interned at Guantanamo Bay in the wake of 9/11, through to being Julian Assange’s principal US lawyer, Ratner never shied away from taking on difficult, controversial cases.

After growing up the eldest child of a religious Jewish family in Cleveland, Ratner eschewed the opportunity to take over his father’s construction company and traveled, instead, to New York City to study law at Columbia University. There, he graduated top of his class despite being heavily involved in the student protests against the Vietnam War that roiled the campus. It was a radicalizing experience for Ratner, the beginning of a lifelong commitment to socialism and human rights, beliefs that were given full rein in his subsequent work at the National Lawyers Guild, where he was president, and at the Center for Constitutional Rights, an organization subsequently led for many years.

In this fast-paced memoir Ratner relates a life that was no stranger to professional defeat, and where victories were generally hard won, relying on a steely determination and an innovative approach to the law in pursuing justice on behalf of those with little power or money. At a time when the law has once again become the focus for intense political conflict his life and work stand as an enduring example for those who seek to advance progressive causes through the courts.

240 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-68219-309-9 • E-book ISBN 978-1-68219-250-4

At a time when the law has once again become the focus for intense political conflict, Michael Ratner’s life and work stand as an enduring example for those who seek to advance progressive causes through the courts.

MOVING THE BAR
My Life as a Radical Lawyer

MICHAEL RATNER

“Michael Ratner was an example for those of us who believe that the fight for human rights is an inalienable responsibility.”
—Balthazar Garzon