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A behind-the-scenes look at how our criminal justice system really works. As a mentor taught Kunen before he became a public defender, "Guilt or innocence is completely irrelevant. What matters is what the D.A. can prove."

"A memoir of rare insight and humor." – Garry Trudeau

"This chronicle . . . could not be beat as a portrait of criminal court life." – The New Yorker

Excerpts from the book

"My clients were fairly typical of what people think of when they think of criminal defendants. They weren't corporations, or the officers of corporations, who calculatingly sent people to their deaths in faulty automobiles; they weren't urbane conservative intellectuals caught with a hand in the company till. They were poor people in the inner city . . . and those who were guilty had committed crimes in the street, because they didn't have any better place to commit them." (p. xi) more

"'All rise!' barked the clerk as he put down his newspaper. 'The court is now in session, the Honorable May Wexler presiding. God save this honorable court!' Judge Wexler swept through her private doorway to the bench. 'Please be seated,' she said with the quiet authority of a grammar school teacher. Everybody sat down.
      "The case was called: United States of America versus Billy Pepperidge. Some match-up! (But wait! Who's his lawyer?)" (p. 182)


Other Books by James S. Kunen

Cover of Diary of a Company Man

Praise for Diary of a Company Man

". . . James Kunen has done it again, with his acute, observant, funny and moving story of what's truly important in life."

– Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One

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About James S. Kunen, author of Diary of a Company Man

James S Kunen

James S. Kunen is the author of popular and critically praised books that grapple with legal and political issues in a personal way. A prize-winning journalist, he is best known for his 1968 memoir, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary—his account of the antiwar student strike at Columbia. He describes the journey from corporate PR man to teacher of immigrants in his new memoir, Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life.

Read more about James S. Kunen