He reviled the rich for their cupidity, and they found his rhetoric repulsive. Plebians believed him their champion, and patricians knew he was their bete noire. The dispossessed had in him an eloquent spokesman for their interests at the bar, and the captains of industry and their lawyers felt his verbal barbs against their selfishness in the courts of law and of public opinion. No less a personage than William Jennings Bryan, the "Great Commoner," verbally dueled with this uncommon advocate at Dayton, Tennessee, with no more success than Bryan's conservative counterparts in commerce had. Clarence Darrow accomplished all of this with rhetoric.
Although many famous oral advocates in the twentieth century come to mind, none of them is known as much for his/her speeches in the courtroom as for some celebritylike quality that is distinctly non-rhetorical. One could name lawyers who made their fame and fortune defending movie stars, but one does not read their speeches; so, too, with those who prosecute or defend the rich and famous, not to mention the infamous, but their courtroom rhetoric has not been anthologized. Not so