Just How Good Is 'To Kill a Mockingbird'?

William Giraldi, New Republic, Jul 16, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I read To Kill a Mockingbird many years ago, when I was still young, and no number of reviews for or against will alter my own appreciation of the work (I've never seen the movie, but that's OK). With the discovery and publication of Harper Lee's new lost book in the midst of a summer of discontent it seems appropriate to revisit the original. This review in The New Republic is a good venue. And the book poses a question relevant today: how do we find justice when the institutions of justice fail? It can be an act of courage to work within the system to seek change, but at the same time, it can change you, so that you accept as inevitable the indefensible. "Tom Robinson’s dooming by the jury should have shredded the very fabric of Atticus Finch. Where are the spiritual upheavals of this man?"

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