A Civil Action

Publisher: Vintage
This true story of an epic courtroom showdown, where two of the nation's largest corporations were accused of causing the deaths of children from water contamination, was a #1 national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
 
Described as “a page-turner filled with greed, duplicity, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinksmanship by The New York Times, A Civil Action is the searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry—one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice. Yet it is also the story of how one man can ultimately make a difference.  Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. With an unstoppable narrative power reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, A Civil Action is an unforgettable reading experience that will leave the reader both shocked and enlightened.
 
A Civil Action was made into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall.

READ AN EXCERPT

The lawyer Jan Schlichtmann was awakened by the telephone at eight-thirty on a Saturday morning in mid-July. He had slept only a few hours, and fitfully at that. When the phone rang, he was dreaming about a young woman who worked in the accounting department of a Boston insurance firm. The woman had somber brown eyes, a...
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READING GUIDE

The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action. We hope they will enrich your understanding of this fascinating chronicle of an epic courtroom battle.

1. When he hears about the lawsuit, Jack Riley is...

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PRAISE FOR

"Whether in truth or fiction, I have never read a more compelling chronicle of litigation." --John Grisham

"A page-turner. Rich and vivid. . . eventful and gripping." --The New York Times

"Once you start A Civil Action, you probably will not be able to put it down." --Washington Post Book World