What We Can Stand For – Geir Lippestad

Hi bookly readers!

Imagine that, I managed to squeeze in some pleasure reading midst exams! I’m almost done! On the 19th I’ll be done, and be off for the Holidays! I know the author of the book I’ve finished so I cannot guarantee that I will be completely neutral, but I will try my best.

July 22, 2011 is a day that will stand out in Norwegian history. 77 people were killed and a building in the capital blown up in order to hurt the political party, who according to the terrorist, was the reason for multiculturalism in Norway. This was the worst tragedy on Norwegian soil since the war ended in 1945. According to Norwegian law the terrorist had the same right to a Defense attorney as any other person would. He chose the Defense attorney Geir Lippestad, and this is Lippestad’s story where he reflects upon values which has guided him throughout his working and personal life along with how dignity, democracy, and rule of Law should be upheld in every court, no matter the crime committed.

For me, What We Can Stand For, was helpful and enlightening. I heard the bomb that went off at my house, but I received all information from the media. Now, I got to read about the case from a different perspective, an inside perspective, and it was good to get certain things confirmed, and certain things cleared up. I remember reading several article headlines about whether the terrorist was unaccountable for his crimes or not. This is discussed and reflected upon in the book, and personally, I found that helpful. I’m glad I read this book now and not earlier. My degree was helpful while reading the book because I was now able to understand several terms that were used in this discussion and reflection. I think this book can be read and interpreted very differently based on the experience of July 22. This book can bring forward a lot of feelings, no matter the experience of this tragedy.

On that note; What We Can Stand For is easy to read, even for the person who is uneducated in the Justice system. I think that is a very good accomplishment from Lippestad! There is not a lot of technical terms or technicalities in this book. There is a lot of reflections where certain terms is used to understand the reflections, but other than that the terms used to explain the court is fairly familiar to the ordinary public. This tragedy was a shock for all of Norway. How could this happen in our considerable peaceful little corner of the world? Lippestad does a great job by bringing his side of the story to the public by using a fairly simple but strong language. Considering the person he and his team was defending, his job and his situation was not easy. The book is also fairly short, only 191 pages.

The book has been translated to Swedish, but not English. I’m sorry my foreign readers! However, the movie 22 July on Netflix has used this book as inspiration, so that can be a way to get to know the story if you are interested. I have seen the trailer and I teared up, so I haven’t watched it yet and I probably won’t for a little while either.

I enjoy reading different kinds of literature, and I have to admit that this is not my preferred kind of reading material, but I believe that it is healthy to leave your comfort zone and read something different ever now and again. What We Can Stand For is a good book, and it brings forward thoughts of values and standpoints that we make throughout our life. I gained some perspective from this book and that helped me in understanding some more of the tragedy.

Published: 2013

Genre: Biography

Theme: July 22, terror, Justice system, values

– The Book Reader

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