A Reader's Guide to Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action

  • E-mail E-mail
  • Google+
  • Submit to Reddit Reddit

About the Author

Jonathan Harr is the author of the national bestseller A Civil Action, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction[,] and The Lost Painting, a New York Times bestseller. He is a former staff writer at the New England Monthly and has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. He lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he has taught nonfiction writing at Smith College. (From the Random House website at http://www.randomhouse.com/author/11975/jonathan-harr.)

About the Book

In this true story of an epic courtroom showdown, two of the nation's largest corporations stand accused of causing the deaths of children. Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. A searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry-one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice-A Civil Action is also the story of how one determined man can ultimately make a difference. With an unstoppable narrative power, it is an unforgettable reading experience. (From the Random House website at http://www.randomhouse.com/book/76093/a-civil-action-by-jonathan-harr.)

General Information About A Civil Action

Book Reviews of A Civil Action

A Book About the Book

Lewis A. Grossman & Robert G. Vaughn, A Documentary Companion to A Civil Action (3rd ed. 2006). Contains legal and documentary information about the case, including issues related to personal and subject matter jurisdiction, pleadings, discovery, sanctions, and trial and post-trial motions.

Other Articles and Websites of Interest

  • Jan Richard Schlichtmann, To Tell the Truth, 85 A.B.A. J. 100 (1999). A one-page article by a chief litigator in A Civil Action that reviews his experience in the case and the lessons he learned.
  • Science in the Courtroom: The Woburn Toxic Trial. A website by Professor Scott Blair that "use[s] A Civil Action to explore interfaces between science, citizen action, public health, and the U.S. legal system." http://serc.carleton.edu/woburn/index.html.
  • Dan Kennedy, Toxic Trial. An article about Jonathan Harr published just before the release of his book. http://home.comcast.net/~dkennedy56/woburn_harr.html.
  • Dan Kennedy, Death and Justice. A detailed overview of A Civil Action's events by a newspaper reporter who covered the trial. http://home.comcast.net/~dkennedy56/woburn_trial.html.

About the Film Version of A Civil Action


Posted by Nick Sexton on Thu. June 13, 2013 11:12 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.