Anthony Lewis' "Gideon's Trumpet" Book Review by Drew Deyo Esquire

Anthony Lewis' "Gideon's Trumpet"
This paper analyzes the book "Gideon's Trumpet" by Anthony Lewis, which discusses the notorious court case of Clarence Earl Gideon.
# 93844 | 1,715 words | 1 source | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Apr 11, 2007 in Literature (American) , Law (Constitution) , English (Analysis) , Law (Historic Trials)

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This paper examines Anthony Lewis' "Gideon's Trumpet", which evaluates the Supreme Court case of Clarence Earl Gideon. Gideon was tried and convicted in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida but maintained, under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, that he was entitled to counsel by the state because he couldn't afford his own. The author points out that the case on which the Supreme Court based its ruling was 'Betts v. Brady', and that it rejected the contention that due process under the Fourteenth Amendment provided a flat guarantee of counsel in state criminal trials. The paper relates that the rule of the case is simply that a person charged with a crime anywhere in the United States has the right to counsel, a right deemed fundamental and essential to any fair trial (Sixth Amendment), and, when the person cannot afford one, the state is obligated to provide one under the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause.

From the Paper:

"Ever since 'Betts' in 1942, the court struggled to apply the "special circumstances" aspect of the rule, and the legal problems inherent in the 'Betts' decision were all too evident. Professional comments on the 'Betts' decision, as maintained in law reviews following the decision, had at first been critical, and several Justices within the Supreme Court were already leaning towards its overruling. In fact, between the 'Betts' decision and the time Gideon wrote his letter, the Supreme Court held in favor of every state prisoner whose counsel claim it agreed to hear."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Lewis, Anthony. Gideon's Trumpet. New York: Random House, Inc., 1964.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Anthony Lewis' "Gideon's Trumpet" (2007, April 11) Retrieved September 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Anthony Lewis' "Gideon's Trumpet"" 11 April 2007. Web. 22 September. 2019. <>