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The Trial: A History, from Socrates to O. J. Simpson

Kadri, Sadakat

Editore: Random House, 2005
ISBN 10: 0375505504 / ISBN 13: 9780375505508
Nuovi / Hardcover / Quantità: 1
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Titolo: The Trial: A History, from Socrates to O. J....

Casa editrice: Random House

Data di pubblicazione: 2005

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The alchemy of the courtroom process has fascinated writers from Kafka to Grisham and the trial drama has been driving movies for decades, but this is the first narrative history ever written on the subject. The path that it traces begins with the trial of Socrates and then weaves a journey through the next two-and-a-half thousand years: telling tales from the papal inquisition and the witch hunts, unearthing accounts of the prosecution of abominable animals and homicidal locomotives, and describing how the modern jury trial emerged out of rituals such as trial by fire, before moving on to the show trials of Joseph Stalin, the war crimes trial since Nuremberg, and the plea-bargaining revolution of today. Kadri writes with tremendous wit, clarity, and insight, and The Trial's breathtaking historical scope is matched by its intellectual ambition: throughout we learn how age-old superstitions--often religious and mystical, sometimes even sacrificial--continue to infuse what we think of as a quintessentially rational process. As he writes, "The robes and cowls have metamorphosed into judicial gowns and priestly incantations have turned into juristic jargon, but ancient impulses still quiver around every courtroom." Although based on extensive legal and historical research, this book assumes nothing on the part of readers but curiosity and an appreciation of the absurd. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_0375505504

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Riassunto: For as long as accuser and accused have faced each other in public, criminal trials have been establishing far more than who did what to whom?and in this fascinating book, Sadakat Kadri surveys four thousand years of courtroom drama.

A brilliantly engaging writer, Kadri journeys from the silence of ancient Egypt?s Hall of the Dead to the clamor of twenty-first-century Hollywood to show how emotion and fear have inspired Western notions of justice?and the extent to which they still riddle its trials today. He explains, for example, how the jury emerged in medieval England from trials by fire and water, in which validations of vengeance were presumed to be divinely supervised, and how delusions identical to those that once sent witches to the stake were revived as accusations of Satanic child abuse during the 1980s.

Lifting the lid on a particularly bizarre niche of legal history, Kadri tells how European lawyers once prosecuted animals, objects, and corpses?and argues that the same instinctive urge to punish is still apparent when a child or mentally ill defendant is accused of sufficiently heinous crimes.

But Kadri?s history is about aspiration as well as ignorance. He shows how principles such as the right to silence and the right to confront witnesses, hallmarks of due process guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, were derived from the Bible by twelfth-century monks. He tells of show trials from Tudor England to Stalin?s Soviet Union, but contends that ?no-trials,? in Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere, are just as repugnant to Western traditions of justice and fairness. With governments everywhere eroding legal protections in the name of an indefinite war on terror, Kadri?s analysis could hardly be timelier.

At once encyclopedic and entertaining, comprehensive and colorful, The Trial rewards curiosity and an appreciation of the absurd but tackles as well questions that are profound. Who has the right to judge, and why? What did past civilizations hope to achieve through scapegoats and sacrifices?and to what extent are defendants still made to bear the sins of society at large? Kadri addresses such themes through scores of meticulously researched stories, all told with the verve and wit that won him one of Britain?s most prestigious travel-writing awards?and in doing so, he has created a masterpiece of popular history.

L'autore: SADAKAT KADRI is a practicing English barrister and qualified New York attorney. He studied history and law at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with first-class honors, and has a master?s degree from Harvard Law School. Though primarily a jury trial advocate, he has worked at the ACLU in New York, once helped to prosecute an African dictator for murder, and has conducted numerous appeals on behalf of death-row prisoners from the Caribbean. He has contributed to publications ranging from the International Legal Practitioner to The Erotic Review, he wrote the first travel guide to postrevolutionary Prague in 1991, and he won The Spectator?s Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing in 1998. He lives in London.

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