kingstortbigKings of Tort: The True Story of Dickie Scruggs, Paul Minor and Two Decades of Political and Legal Manipulation in Mississippi

By Alan Lange and Tom Dawson

For almost 20 years, we’ve opened our morning newspapers and followed the saga of asbestos and cigarette lawsuits, Katrina insurance mess, and bribery of legal and judiciary officials. These stories, with the ongoing civil rights reporting of Jerry Mitchell, have made these issues of our time most interesting to follow.

The Dickie Scruggs news has produced much confusion for the observer:

Good guy or bad guy?

Brilliant for sure, we thought!

Powerful, no doubt, but lots of money usually gives one power and influence

Always these questions have led to the overall big question of ethics. Over these years the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle have been turned over. Kings now fits the pieces together for the reader to get a clear picture of the sequence of events.

Kings starts in the late 80s and traces Scruggs’ rise and fall path, along the way culprits come and go. Lange and Dawson weave together this story in a compelling fashion to give the reader insight and a clear time line.

Kings reads with all the characteristics of a novel, yet it is not. It seems truthful without too much author grandstanding and personal agenda. Leanly written, without too much flowery embellishment, reading takes on the fast pace of a thriller.

For me, Kings is a cross of Jack Nelson’s fine Terror in the Night and an early Grisham legal thriller.

This is a must-read for inquiring Mississippians.

Alan Lange and Tom Dawson will be at Lemuria Thursday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.