My Hour with Lenny
With Passion, Twelve Tables Press (2017)
7 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2018
Date Written: 2017
Growing up in a Depression battered family, one tangled by a mortal secret, With Passion tells the improbable story of Michael Meltsner, who thought of himself as a “miscast” lawyer but ended up defending peaceful protesters, representing Mohammad Ali, suing Robert Moses, counseling Lenny Bruce, bringing the case that integrated hundreds of Southern hospitals and named “the principal architect of the death penalty abolition movement in the United States." More than a meditation on often-frustrating legal efforts to fight inequality and racism, Meltsner — also a novelist and playwright - vividly recounts the life of a New York City kid, struggling to make sense of coming of age amidst the tumult of vast demographic and cultural changes in the City. This chapter of With Passion tells the story of Meltsner's "consultation" with comedian Lenny Bruce before a sentencing hearing on obscenity charges.
Keywords: Mohammad Ali, Lenny Bruce, Robert Moses, Lawyering
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