Book Review: Citizen Lane

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

-Jackie Robinson

Mark Lane has lived an important life.

His new book, Citizen Lane – Defending Our Rights In The Courts, The Capital, And In The Streets, like his life, is a wild ride.

Like a patient parent, Lane writes in intimate details, with a moral authority, kindness, gentleness, intelligence, selflessness, and sense of humor.

Discussing his early life in the military and after encountering the sting of racism, Mr. Lane confides in his reader, the reason he didn’t join a small barracks protest:   “– the basis for my refusal was fear of confronting authority. That characteristic seems to have faded in time.”

He chronicles his years as a veteran, attorney, activist, advocate, politician, investigator, defender, author, Freedom Rider, Jonestown survivor, and counsel at Wounded Knee.

Regarding the James Richardson case, Mr. Lane describes as “the second happiest moment in my professional life,” when Dade County, Florida special prosecutor, Janet Reno, after hearing the defense told the judge, “Justice was not served. James Richardson was deprived of a fair trial.”

Mark Lane doesn’t make us wait long to learn of his happiest professional moment:

“Eventually the judge took the bench. His remarks were very brief: ‘I hereby vacate the judgment of conviction. Mr. Richardson, you are free to go.”

Over the decades, friends, cohorts, allies, and accomplices include Eleanor Roosevelt, Dick Gregory, Jim Garrison, Jane Fonda, Paul McCartney, and Marlon Brando.

He shares a story about attempting to publish Rush To Judgment in London in 1966 and allowing Paul McCartney to read one of his original copies. McCartney responded by allowing Mark Lane to be the first person to hear his new composition, Eleanor Rigby.

If you’re looking for a book about Mark Lane’s journey into the heart of the JFK assassination darkness, try Rush to Judgment, Plausible Denial or Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK.

Mr. Lane does not approach this watershed moment until almost half way through Citizen Lane and then, for only 28 pages. Within these pages, however, are startling revelations which makes this book well worth the price of admission, including a 1966 CIA assassin’s warning.

Through his life’s actions and through this book, Mark Lane gives us hope and inspires.

What else is there?

Thank you, Mark Lane.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (Ratified on December 15, 1791)

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