A Novel by Paul Harris


History(the way it really happened), The FBI, the Underground, Peoples Park uprising, Stop the Draft week, Baseball with Fidel, a Courtroom Trial, Sex (a little), Love, Comradeship.

IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR is both historical fiction and an engrossing legal thriller. The novel is set in 1968-70, primarily in San Francisco, with side trips to Cuba, New York, Los Angeles, Tucson and the Santa Cruz mountains. A doctor working at a community clinic is falsely charged with attempting to bomb a draft board. His lawyer, David Shane, begins to defend the case and realizes his beloved sister, Molly, is one of the actual perpetrators. Molly Shane, a member of a revolutionary group, has to go underground to escape the FBI. Against the backdrop of the turmoil of the sixties the novel follows David and Molly’s divergent paths as they collide in a dramatic courtroom trial.


“IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR can be appreciated for its unearthing of our progressive history, for its gripping scenes of legal strategy, for its accurate recreation of the Underground, or just as a damn good story.”

Jerry Atinsky, songwriter and folksinger.

“Paul Harris captures the reality of the courtroom and explores the rewards and dangers of political activism. The result is a compelling and readable novel."

Karen Jo Koonan, Senior Trial Consultant, National Jury Project, Oakland, Ca.

“Unlike so many culturally one-dimensional novels, Harris employs several African-American and Latino characters, not as criminal defendants, but as lawyers and investigators with respected roles and voices. The courtroom scenes serve as a trial skills primer with Harris interspersing critiques of specific trial techniques. The courtroom tension during the testimony of the witnesses, the defense strategy coming together and then being disrupted, and the irresistible anticipation of the verdict, all make for a great read."

Cris Kanios, Contra Costra Lawyer.

"I stayed up half the night reading. It truly captures the reality and spirit of the times."

Liz Sandoval, attorney and activist.

“While the dramatic tension of the trial may be the most entertaining part of the novel, making it an engaging and easy read, the more important tensions are those within the characters. By building the story around the Shane family and friends, Harris reminds us that the Movement was a community. Thus, when Molly's aunt talks to her about becoming part of the Underground, she warns, 'Everything you choose to do has consequences for those you love."

C.Leland, SF/LA Daily Journal


Paul Harris is the Charles Garry Professor of Law at New College’s public interest law school where he teaches “guerrilla law.” He is a former national president of the National Lawyers Guild and the author of the critically acclaimed non-fiction work:

Black Rage Confronts the Law. Paul was a co-founder of the San Francisco Community Law Collective and written up as one of the best criminal trial lawyers in America.



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