The Making of a Nonconformist
In A History and Criticism of American Public Address, Martin Maloney categorized Clarence Darrow as one of those rare individuals in American history who achieve "a special status in public life; they are possessed by an indescribable charm which seems to lend their least action a disproportionate significance. They may be 'heroes' or 'villains' by label, but their fascination for great numbers of people is undeniable." According to Maloney, such individuals often achieve the status of "myths during their own times."1
To Maloney, much of the Darrow legend was based on the image that he "was a defender of the underdog, a devil's advocate, a man who stood perpetually opposed to the great and powerful of the earth." Maloney believed that such a myth may have been possible in Darrow's lifetime "because so many people in the United States recognized themselves as underdogs, as outcasts, either real or potential."2
Lore about Darrow has grown and evolved since his death. In attempting to explain how legends grow and change, Waldo W. Braden declared that a myth "draws upon memory and imagination, that it results from a collective
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Publication information: Book title: Clarence Darrow:The Creation of an American Myth. Contributors: Richard J. Jensen - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 11.