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August 2011 Featured Book

ScoundrelsScoundrels in Law: The Trials of Howe and Hummel, Lawyers to the Gangsters, Cops, Starlets, and Rakes Who Made the Gilded Age
by Cait Murphy '83

"Cait Murphy's Scoundrels in Law paints a colorful portrait of this era, showing us stories of human frailty, hypocrisy and stupidity that, in their essence, are all too familiar from today's police blotters and court reports..."-- Scott Greenfield, Wall Street Journal


Gangsters and con men. Spurned mistresses and wandering husbands. Strippers and Broadway royalty. Cat killers and spiritualists. These were the friends and clients of Howe & Hummel, the most famous (and famously rotten) law firm in nineteenth-century America. A dramatic, diamond-encrusted presence, Howe was one of the great courtroom orators of his era, winning improbable acquittals time after time. Abraham Hummel enjoyed a quieter but perhaps more fearsome notoriety, shaking down high society so well and so often that receiving an envelope with the law firm's name on it became almost a rite of passage.

The partners bestrode Gilded Age New York with wit and brio, and everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Lola Montez had a part in their story. Through the windows of the dingy premises of Howe & Hummel, readers can glimpse the Gilded Age in all its grime and grandeur.

 
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