Reading lists

If you loved The Trial of the Chicago 7, you should read these books

Aaron Sorkin's new Netflix film has brought the political upheaval of the late-1960s back into focus. Here, from Norman Mailer to Allen Ginsberg, are some books to dive deeper into the trial that put the Vietnam War itself on the stand, and its context. 

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

It was the one of the most notorious legal battles in American history, a courtroom drama so wild and unruly that it'd feel more at home in a John Grisham novel than a US federal courthouse.

And now, the Chicago 7's infamous 1969 trial has finally been made into a movie more than half a century later. Aaron Sorkin's star-studded The Trial of the Chicago 7 has had critics in a lather since its release on Netflix this month.

It tells the story of a motley group of seven (initially eight) anti-Vietnam War protesters charged with inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and how they turned their trial into a circus, lampooning proceedings with jokes, silly costumes and blowing kisses to the jury. Norman Mailer was a star witness. So was Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

But, of course, no movie could fit into 130 minutes all the shenanigans of a trial that lasted five months. So here are some books to take you deeper into the trial that, ultimately, put the Vietnam War itself on the stand.

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