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Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling

Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling

Nobody I know is funnier, smarter, or has a wider breadth of references than my friend Jonathan Shapiro. This book is a bit of a miracle: informative, insightful, poetic, and funny. —Paul Reiser, comedian, actor, and bestselling author Using famous real-life court transcripts, television scripts, and story after story, Lawyers, Liars, and the Art of Storytelling shows the reader how to get their message across and the result they want using the time-tested elements and basic structure of great stories. Part how-to manual, part memoir, always entertaining and never lecture, this book provides storytelling lessons gleaned from years of trial practice and television writing, wrapped in—what else?—great stories.

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‘Doing the Best I Can’

Posted on Mar 31, 2014

    Joe White with three of his children. Photo by Elizabeth Talbert

Joe White is a 36-year-old married father of four in Camden, N.J., and one of many men whom sociologist and Truthdigger of the Week Kathryn Edin got to know as part of her five-year investigation into fatherhood in the inner city, a project that led to the book “Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood In the Inner City.”

In a video created in 2013 by Edin, her husband and colleague Timothy Nelson and filmmaker Elizabeth Talbert, White, who graduated from high school, talks about surviving the streets and raising children.

“I’d been through so much that I didn’t even think I was going to be alive at that age,” White tells Nelson about approaching adulthood and imagining a future with his girlfriend. “So at 18 I was like, look… I’m gonna marry this girl before something happens to me out on these streets. At least do something right.”

About the inescapable conflict that arose from his attempt to provide his family with a decent livelihood by the only means available, White said, “The streets, that’s how I ate. That’s how I kept clothes in my back, his back, her back. And she got tired. She kinda gave me an ultimatum, like, ‘Yo, it’s me or the streets.’ I chose the streets. … I thought I was saving her, because I didn’t really care about whether I lived or died. So that was my mentality, my way of thinking was like, ‘… I’m gonna live this life. I’m gonna make as much money as I possibly can, so if something happens to me, then my son and my son’s mother will be took care of.”

Doing the Best I Can:

Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City - Joe from Doing the Best I Can on Vimeo.

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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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