A Civil Action

Front Cover
Thorndike Press, 1998 - Fiction - 864 pages
370 Reviews
This authoritative, in-depth, revealing, and wonderfully-written book tells the true story of an obsessed young lawyer who gave up everything to fight two prestigious law firms and the corporations they represented, on behalf of the families of Woburn, Massachusetts, whose loved ones had died because they drank the town's water.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Insight into an important environmental justice case. - Goodreads
VERY compelling story; slightly overwrought prose. - Goodreads
Eh. Somewhat compelling story, mediocre writing. - Goodreads
Well written, documented, researched. - Goodreads
A riveting page turner. - Goodreads
The ending was somewhat of happiness and sadness. - Goodreads

Review: A Civil Action

User Review  - Mzmazz - Goodreads

This was one of the books that began the whistler blower of books. In a way it paved the way for Erin Brokovich and others. The most tragic thing about this book is that it predates (I think) the US ... Read full review

Review: A Civil Action

User Review  - Renee - Goodreads

Amazing and eye-opening. Read full review


Summer 1966
The Lawyer
Rule 11

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Author Jonathan Harr is best known for his compelling account of a tragic toxic waste case that plagued Woburn, Massachusetts during the 1980s, entitled A Civil Action. This story traces the formulation and outcome of a legal complaint filed by eight families against three local Woburn industries for improper handling and disposal of toxic chemicals. A Civil Action won Harr the 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and earned him a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List for 65 weeks. He also received the 1997 Environmental Awareness Award from the League of Conservation Voters for his ability to incorporate an environmental protection issue into his work and for his efforts to help raise awareness of environmental issues. Jonathan Harr is a former staff writer at New England Monthly and has contributed to The New Yorker. He has also taught at Smith College.

Bibliographic information