John Edwards: The Natural

Sunny yet driven, John Edwards was born to run, but has he come too far too fast?

The best tale about John Edwards is neither tall nor ancient, but it serves as an ideal allegory for his life. In the summer of 1995, the hotshot Raleigh, N.C., trial attorney wrapped up his legal work for the week and strolled into a local sporting-goods store to do some shopping. Edwards explained that he was planning to climb 19,340-ft. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in a few days with his son Wade, then 15, and he needed some good, strong hiking boots. Horrified by the customer's naive, if not dangerous, lack of preparation, the sales staff urged him to, at the...

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