A Court That Shaped America : Chicago's Federal District Court from Abe Lincoln to Abbie Hoffman

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9780810119819: A Court That Shaped America : Chicago's Federal District Court from Abe Lincoln to Abbie Hoffman

Big and small dramas play out every day in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Headquartered in Chicago, the court has played a pivotal role in U.S. history. This is where Abraham Lincoln, as a young lawyer, changed the direction of westward expansion when he argued that trains-not steamships-were America's future. This is where Al Capone met his fall, at a trial that finished him as Public Enemy Number One. And this is where Abbie Hoffman, the nation's first Yippie, butted heads with Judge Julius J. Hoffman and the Establishment at the trial known as the Conspiracy Eight.

A Court That Shaped America traces the flesh-and-blood courtroom scenes from the district's first cases in the early nineteenth century through the turn of the millennium. Historical figures--including Mormon leader Joseph Smith, inventor Thomas Edison, and author Mark Twain--as well as contemporary superstars like Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey have all had their day in the Northern Illinois court. Some were victorious; some came out scathed. This book examines these great trials and the people behind them to offer a unique look at Chicago and U.S. history.

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Book Description:

The Northern Illinois District Court is one of the busiest federal trial courts in the nation. Headquartered in Chicago, the court has played a pivotal role in U.S. history. This is where Abraham Lincoln, as a young lawyer, changed the direction of westward expansion when he argued that trains--not steamships--were America's future. This is where Al Capone met his fall, at a trial that finished him as Public Enemy Number 1. And this is where Abbie Hoffman, the nation's first Yippie, butted heads with Judge Julius J. Hoffman and the Establishment at the trial known as the Conspiracy Eight.
The Court That Shaped America traces the flesh-and-blood courtroom scenes from the district's first cases in the early nineteenth century through the turn of the millennium. The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, inventor Thomas Edison, author Mark Twain, "Big Bill" Haywood and the Wobblies, Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey have all had their day in the Northern Illinois Court. Some were victorious; some came out scathed. The book looks at the great trials and the people behind them to offer a unique look at Chicago and U.S. history.

About the Author:

Richard Cahan is the author of They All Fall Down (Preservation Press, 1995), a biography of architectural preservationist Richard Nickel, and co-author of The Game That Was (NTC/Contemporary Publishing,1997), a look at a historically significant collection of major league baseball photos and Chicago: Rising from the Prairie (Heritage Media Corporation, 2000). He has worked as a writer, editor and photo director in Chicago since 1975.

Judge Marvin Aspen is the Edward Avery Harriman Adjunct Professor of Law at the Northwestern University School of Law and a former chief judge for the Northern District of Illinois.

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Cahan, Richard
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Richard Cahan, Marvin Aspen (Foreword)
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