I decided to pick up this book after watching ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary, Fantastic Lies, which provided a deeper look into the events surrounding the Duke Lacrosse case. As a Duke alumni, I realized that I knew very little about everything that happened and how the Duke administration responded to this issue. It's Not About the Truth is one of the few books out there that can provide even more insight into the case, and I eagerly read it to learn more.
Something to note: this book is a one-sided affair. One of the main contributors to this novel is Mike Pressler, the Duke Lacrosse coach who believed his players were innocent and was judged and condemned as a result. He was threatened, his family was threatened, and their lives were upended from this case. As a result, this book will be an emotional read as they describe those events, and let's just say that it does not have flowerly, praising words for those that perpetuated his and his family's hardship.
The main focus of this book is on Nifong's dealings and the lack of support from the Duke administration and faculty (or in the Group of 88's case, condemnation of the players). Very little is told from the perspective of the players, particularily the three indicted, so I wish there could have more input from them. However, the details provided by Pressler painted a very clear picture of how the players were treated and the injustice done to them by Nifong and members of the Durham police force. It was also upsetting, especially as an alumni, to learn that the Duke administration did nothing to protect their students, and the players had to fight to prove their innocence before garnering any type of support. It is a truly powerful read.
This case is being used even now in multiple law classes, and I'm hoping that we all continue to learn from this incident. Even now, I take everything the media says and/or portrays with a grain of salt. It's so unfortunate that this happened, and it's saddening to think that future victims could be negatively affected by this case and that so many lives were shattered.