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Max Menuchen was just 18 years old when Captain Marcelus Prandus of the Lithuanian Auxiliary Militia forced his family (and dozens of other Jewish families) into the Ponary Woods in Vilna, Lithuania, making them dig their own graves. The young man could only watch as Prandus shot his pregnant wife, Leah, and baby boy, Efraium. Escaping a similar fate by "dumb luck," Max survived the bullet, but not the torment and guilt that would haunt him for decades. Then, in 1999, Max makes the chilling discovery that Prandus escaped any punishment and now lives in a small Massachusetts town, surrounded by a loving family.
The world didn't care about what happened in the Ponary Woods. That was what was destroying Max. That was what drove him to the vengeance in which he was now engaged.Determined to make the former Nazi suffer, Max and an old acquaintance kidnap Prandus, tie him to a chair, and psychologically torture him. Prandus then commits suicide to escape his own "suffering." Max now stands accused of murder--and his old friend Abe Ringel must prove that the revenge was just, for the sake of the Menuchens and for all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
The legal mechanics of Max's trial are hardly exceptional (author Dershowitz has a tendency to slip back into his other role as Harvard law professor, and we sometimes feel more like students than readers). However, the moral implications of such a controversial trial make Just Revenge a compelling, and ultimately thought-provoking, read. --Naomi Gesinger
Who knew that Alan Dershowitz wrote novels as well as taught law and wrote commentary on a variety of topics? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter G. Pollak
Interesting twist on a theme; may be suited to a teen or young adultPublished 2 months ago by Marilyn G.
This book was a very weak novel about the Holocaust. The characters were styrofoam, and the plot was weary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Eleanor Shumaker
This a page burner that I couldn't put down (and I have never said that before). The plot is fascinating but the significance of the book are the moral issues it asks the reader... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lois L. Janger
This is one of the most riveting books I have ever read. It really should be required reading for everyone and then discussion groups discuss and reasons given for whether it was... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Leila H. Thomas
Ok plot. I thought fairly poorly written for such an educated writer. Read other books; this was not was of his better written onesPublished 11 months ago by Karin L. Simmons
Fantastic story, one of the best WWII fictions to come along in years. Twists and turns every step of the way, and heartbreaking connections will be forged with the characters if... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jayne1955
"His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, SAUL BELLOW..."
I just saw this and had to say, "Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!"
That's the publishing game for you. Read more
By accident I picked up this book last evening in a bookstore. I always enjoy hearing Alan Dershowitz speak on TV when he is on a panel or conducting a forum. Read morePublished on November 30, 2011 by H. F. Miglino