A nonfiction legal thriller that traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history, Don Blankenship, to justice Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America’s electric power. But wealth and influence weren’t enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company’s mines—in which scores died unnecessarily.
As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens while he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship’s tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law.
The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it’s true, it’s scarier than fiction.
"Laurence Leamer does a superb job of condensing this fifteen-year legal brawl into a highly readable and entertaining narrative. Greed, arrogance, injustice, corruption - it has it all, and, sadly, it's all true. Fortunately, it also has some heroes. This is a book I wish I had written." -John Grisham
"Includes fascinating real-life characters...Bestselling author Leamer offers a compelling nonfiction thriller...Leamer is masterful at presenting the important issues, strong personalities, political and legal machinations and economic stakes of the challenge to Massey, looking beyond the law to reveal a case about social inequities, greed, and arrogance."- Booklist
"Riveting and compulsively readable...Leamer has produced a Shakespearean tale of greed, corporate irresponsibility, and personal hubris on one hand, and idealism, commitment to justice, and personal sacrifice on the other. Blankenship is a villain for all time, and Stanley and Fawcett are lawyers who bring honor to their profession."- Publishers Weekly
"Some readers will understandably confuse the contemporary history chronicled in Laurence Leamer's "The Price of Justice" for compelling fiction... an expansive, clearly crafted account ... Inspiring...Straightforward and elegant." -The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About the author:
Laurence Leamer is the bestselling author of fourteen books, including The Kennedy Women and Madness Under the Royal Palms. He is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and Playboy, and has most recently written cover stories for Newsweek. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, Florida.