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The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir Paperback – November 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 703 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (P) (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316834009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316834001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The chief prosecutor of the four-power Nuremberg trials (1945-1946) delivers the ultimate insider's account of the war-crimes prosecution of surviving Nazi leaders. A National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Munich: The Price of Peace , Taylor explains how the Allied governments established the legal basis for the tribunal and organized the courtroom proceedings. He introduces the defendants--Goring, Hess, Ribbentrop, Speer et al.--defines the charges against them, outlines the evidence and recounts individual defense strategies, closing arguments, judicial sentences and (in the case of those condemned to death) the details of their executions. Taylor casts doubt on the legality of the charges against Nazi publisher Julius Streicher and argues that Rudolf Hess, mentally incapable of defending himself, should not have been tried. (Incidentally, he clears up the intrigue surrounding how former Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goring managed to conceal the cyanide capsule with which he committed suicide.) This gripping eyewitness report of an unprecedented international military tribunal is the definitive work on the subject. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By michael mason on January 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is quite a long book that gives a detailed exposition of the events of the initial 21 or so cases at Nuremberg. Taylor participated at a high level. He is a distinguished author and scholar.
This covers not only description of the cases, but gives insights into all the main personalities present, including Goering and Jackson. It is written nearly 50 years after the event, so interesting information on what happened in the years afterward is given as well.
Taylor writes well, gives his own opinions in a balanced way and does not back off from sensative issues. And they don't come much more sensative than this.
Strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ranger on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a meticulous and comprehensive overview of the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg from conception to long lasting consequences. Although the Nuremberg Trial wasn't the first attempt at judging war criminals (a surprise for me), it was the first who reached a successful final conclusion. Telford Taylor draws a frank, direct and complete analysis of the proceedings in which the defendants aren't the only point of focus.

The performances of the judges, lawyers and even researchers are scrutinized under a microscope in order to give the reader a clear picture of the whole enterprise.
The author also isn't shy of critics directed at his fellow Americans, as judge Francis Biddle and Justice Jackson in particular are on the receiving hand of some unpleasant but deserved observations.

Telford has to merit to keep an honest, clear head. For exemple, being asked on page 618 what he thought of the treatment of Rudolf Hess, all alone in a spacious prison for decades, Taylor states: "It's a crime against humanity".

That remark alone proves the authenticity and free will of the author.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mike Geronime (mgeronime@yahoo.com) on July 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
The author, Telford Taylor, died on May 23, 1998, at the age of 90. He was also the author of "Grand Inquest" (1955), which is regarded as one of the best challanges to the methods of Sen. McCarthey. In this, he traced back the history of congressional investigations to the 18th century. This "book was probably the most influential of the nine he wrote" {The Economist, May 30, 1998).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
An important history of the trial, written by a
participant. Taylor does not pull his
punches, he calls them as he saw them.

If you are interested in WWII in any aspect

in particular the legal aspects of the trial

from an insiders viewpoint, this is one book
that you must read.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harry Eagar VINE VOICE on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Telford Taylor is an optimist. He waited a while -- over 40 years -- to get a certain distance and perspective before writing up his experiences as a junior (later chief) prosecutor at the Nuremburg International Military Tribunal to try war crimes.

He made it. Then he wrote more than 600 pages, which should have been a lot more than any but specialists would want to read on that subject at this date (1992, when this review was first published).

But various terrible situations, especially in Yugoslavia, have made the subject of war crimes trials current again. (And, in 2006, still, with new venues, like Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, East Timor and, for some, the USA or Israel, under consideration.)

People have floated the idea, usually hesitantly, that maybe the prospect of retribution would give the Serbs, Iraqis etc. pause.

At a higher level, Taylor is an optimist because he believes the rule of law can be used to reduce the overall level of frightfulness in human disputes. He is not so naive an optimist as to believe the disputes themselves can be quelled.

'The Anatomy of the Nuremburg Trials' is a handbook on how to go about using pieces of paper to control, or at least to retaliate against, ruthless, powerfully armed men of evil intent. The trials have been studied by historians, but Taylor offers a deeper look.

He reveals some of the jockeying for position, the careerism and ambition of the players, especially the American team. He assesses the legal tactics, the high-flown sentiments and the low-down cynicism. Overall, he gives the effort good marks.

The idea of war crimes trials was not new in 1945, but the effort after World War I had been futile.
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