What themes from the case resonate today?
Mr. Curriden: The need for an independent judiciary. Today it seems like we have a lot of pressure on judges politically to rule one way or another. The one thing this case pointed out 100 years ago is how dangerous that is to allow the fear of being elected or thrown out of office to determine how a judge rules.
What were you hoping to accomplish?
Mr. Curriden: Our only goal was to tell this incredible story. ... Thats what attracted us to it this buried case in history that had never been told.
Mr. Phillips: One of the things I hoped to accomplish was to remind the people that it occurred.
What was the response when the book came out?
Mr. Curriden: In Chattanooga, there was among many people a hesitation about the book, that it might put Chattanooga in a negative light. Once they saw the book ... we got a great response. The book was extremely well received in the legal community.
Mr. Phillips: Lawyer after lawyer and scholar after scholar wrote to me from Harvard and Yale and the law schools on the West Coast saying, My God, we had never heard this. This case got lost, and thank you for writing it and how significant it was and is.