A link to the Good Morning America video is here. The book also has a website, which contains, among other items, the full sourcenotes for the volume.
Reviews of the book have begun to appear.
In Newsweek, Evan Thomas offered praise in a review that asked whether the case was “Academic McCarthyism.” He stated:
In their vivid, at times chilling account, the authors are contemptuous of prosecutor Mike Nifong, whom the North Carolina legal establishment disbarred for his by now well-documented misconduct. (Nifong’s lawyer, David Freedman, says “there are a number of people who testified at the state bar proceeding that [Nifong] was a very caring career prosecutor.”[!!]) But their most biting scorn is aimed at the “academic McCarthyism” that they say has infected top-rated American universities like Duke.
A much-beloved dean at Yale before Duke hired him away in 2004, Brodhead is shy and sensitive, dryly witty and poetic, the authors write. Nifong, the Durham D.A. (who was held in criminal contempt of court last week for lying to a judge while pursuing the case and sentenced to a day in jail), is depicted as a bully and blowhard. What the two men had in common was an almost willful disregard for the facts . . . The authors make the Duke faculty look at once ridiculous and craven. For months, not one of the university’s nearly 500-member faculty of arts and sciences stood up to question the rush to judgment against the lacrosse team. So much for the ideal of the liberal-arts university where scholars debate openly and seek the truth. (“This book provides one interpretation,” says Duke spokesman John Burness.) The only group that shows any common sense in “Until Proven Innocent” is the student body. Aside from a few noisy activists who assumed the players were guilty, Duke undergrads mostly overlooked the political correctness of their professors.
The Chronicle headlined Anne Llewellyn’s review, “Nuanced Johnson/Taylor book hits mark.” Llewellyn observed that the book “provides new details gathered from scores of interviews with the defendants, their families, friends and members of the Duke administration, including President Richard Brodhead,” producing “an account of the trial that engages like an episode of ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’ while maintaining a respect for the complexity of that oft-neglected thing called reality.”
The book, she continued, “devotes many pages to fleshing out the personalities and experiences of the defendants as well as those close to them. Often used as “representatives” of some form of social ill-whether perpetrators of white privilege and oppression or later martyrs of reverse racism-it is refreshing to now see them as three-dimensional human beings.”
Taylor and Johnson’s chimera of journalism, contemporary history and social commentary places the now-familiar narrative within a larger context of the authors’ understanding of a long and messy history of prosecutorial misconduct in America, an influx of radicalism within universities and a broader culture of political correctness.
Though not swayed by each and every one of the authors’ conclusions, this reviewer finished the book with more than a few things to think about and reasonable confidence that the book was offered up in good faith after a careful investigation, and was neither a work of expediency or exploitation to further any type of agenda.
In short, in a case where it seems like we have heard much too much, Until Proven Innocent is worth one more hearing.