One Man's Castle by Phyllis Vine
Clarence Darrow in Defense of the American Dream

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



This tautly told story steps back to a time when Detroit's boosters described their city as one of the most cosmopolitan in the world. It was also a city in which tensions between blacks and whites seemed manageable. Yet all that changed in 1925, when a black family named Sweet bought and moved into a house in a white neighborhood. What began with mothers bringing their children to gawk and stare soon became an angry mob of men, some of them from the local KKK, with stones.

The violence that ensued landed Ossian Sweet, a doctor from the "talented tenth," and others from his family in jail and compelled the NAACP -- which had taken up the Sweets' case -- to hire famed attorney Clarence Darrow, who had just finished defending the plaintiff in Tennessee v. John Scopes. Darrow's defense led to one of the most incendiary courtroom dramas in the history of the United States. The outcome was a triumph of cooperation that transcended race in the name of justice.


About Phyllis Vine

See more books from this Author
Phyllis Vine is an American historian who has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Michigan, Union College, and Barnard College. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, she has written for "The Nation", the "Progressive", and "Parents" magazine. Her first book, "Families in Pain", was groundbreaking in addressing the problems facing families of the mentally ill. Phyllis Vine lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Published March 1, 2004 by Amistad. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for One Man's Castle

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The NAACP, writes Vine, “was looking for someone with a reputation that could engender the support of the larger constituency of liberal whites and middle-class blacks,” and Darrow was perfect for the job and conducted the defense with his customary high-toned but careful argumentation.

| Read Full Review of One Man's Castle: Clarence Da...

Rate this book!

Add Review