Last Man Standing by Jack Olsen
The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt

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With the epic scope of A Civil Action, Last Man Standing is an unforgettable chronicle of the twenty-seven-year struggle to break a conspiratorial abuse of power and free one of America's most famous political prisoners.

In 1968, twenty-year-old Elmer Gerard "Geronimo" Pratt returned from Vietnam with a chest full of medals and a Purple Heart into the most heated racial climate in American history. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Pratt enrolled at UCLA, where the Black Panther Party was busy recruiting. Propelled by a diverse group of African Americans, the Panther agenda was a volatile mix of black rage, black pride, altruism, idealism, and violence. Under the charismatic leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Bunchy Carter, Pratt rose to the rank of Deputy Minister of Defense and became leader of the Los Angeles Chapter. The Panthers did not go unnoticed by J. Edgar Hoover. In the era of enemies' lists, his FBI drew up its own list of Panthers to be "neutralized" and began a systematic counterintelligence program to undermine black solidarity. Geronimo Pratt headed Hoover's list. When an FBI informer within the Panther party agreed to testify that Pratt murdered a young woman at a Santa Monica tennis court, his days as a free citizen came to an end.

If not for the unlikely alliance of a brash African American defense attorney (Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.), a radical Irish Jewish law student (Stuart Hanlon), a Protestant minister (Rev. James McCloskey), and the indefatigable Pratt-his spirit unbroken by eight years in solitary confinement-a horrifying miscarriage of justice would never have been rectified. As riveting biography, courtroom drama, and just plain narrative nonfiction, Last Man Standing is certain to take its place among the finest works of American judicial history.

About Jack Olsen

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Jack Olsen is the bestselling author of twenty-seven books published in fourteen countries and ten languages, including New York Times bestsellers Son and Doc. A longtime journalist and former Time bureau chief, Olsen has written for People, Paris Match, Readers Digest, Life, Sports Illustrated, New York Times Book Review and others. Olsen has appeared on national talk shows as a respected expert on the psychology of criminals. He lives in Washington State.
Published September 19, 2000 by Doubleday. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Represented by Johnnie Cochran and Stuart Hanlon (who, along with Pratt, are the author’s main sources), Pratt was convicted and sent to jail.

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Publishers Weekly

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One part Kafka and one part Orwell, the story of Geronimo Pratt's conviction and imprisonment, for a murder committed while he was 350 miles away from the crime scene and under FBI surveillance, is a

Jan 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Last Man Standing: The Traged...

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