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Lord Birkenhead who rose to be Lord High Chancellor of England was one of the great lawyers of all time. His persuasive tongue and compelling per¬sonality won him many a notable victory in the British courts.
In this book he tells the inside history of twenty-five famous trials in some of which he himself played a leading role, while others belong to very different periods of history. A gifted author, Lord Birkenhead writes of these important and fascinating trials in untechnical language and plunges his readers into the tense, exciting atmosphere of some of the most dramatic scenes the world has ever known.
Among the trials here recorded are:-
Driven by remorseless ambition, and aided by a first-rate brain of quicksilver speed, he amassed a remarkable tally of gongs, baubles and glittering prizes, at Oxford, in the law, and in politics. Endowed with a gigantic ego and towering self-confidence, he was the supreme right-wing demagogue between Lord Randolph Churchill and Mosley, with mesmeric oratorical gifts of lightning wit, stinging retort and poisonous vituperation.
And he was as reckless as he was rude: his magnificent carelessness, shameless hedonism and limitless extravagance betokened an inexhaustible appetite for life and pleasure; he squandered several fortunes on houses and horses, cars and cards, boats and brandy; he excelled at rugby, riding, golf and tennis; he burned all his candles at both ends; and he drank and spent as if there was no tomorrow. His consumption was conspicuous in every sense, and in the end he died of drink and left only debts.David Cannadine