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Justice and the Enemy is genius. William Shawcross dares to take on the hot-button topic of justice for the most diabolical of our enemies in the age of terrorism. Drawing on his own father’s experience as prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, Shawcross is never afraid to provoke an urgent call to conscience with laser reasoning and lightning prose. An invaluable contribution to the here and now.”

—Marie Brenner

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Justice and the Enemy

Coming in January 2012 from

Justice and the Enemy

Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

William Shawcross

Publication date: January 10, 2012

$26.99/$31.50 CAN; ISBN 978-1-58648-975-5

The bestselling author – son of a lead prosecutor at Nuremberg – considers the issues surrounding the pending trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and asks: How does society deal lawfully with the lawless?

“A controversial intervention into the ongoing political and legal argument about whether and how to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators for their role in the 9/11 attack… [Shawcross] takes a no-holds-barred approach to the issues involved in putting the alleged perpetrators of 9/11 on trial for their crimes… Sure to cause further heated debate on the Mohammed situation and other similar scenarios.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Brilliant, sobering, scholarly and full of suspense....urgently needed and an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of the free world.”—Sally Bedell Smith, author of For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton in the White House

Toward the end of World War Two, the Allies debated how to treat the Nazi regime’s principal architects. Churchill favored summary execution for around a dozen Nazi leaders, and Stalin suggested a cull of as many as 50,000 Germans. Roosevelt eventually proposed a judicial process that would not only demonstrate the moral purpose of the victors but also create a historical record of the Nazis’ crimes. Under U.S. guidance, the military tribunal at Nuremberg became the precedent for post-war justice for a vanquished enemy.

The threat currently facing the Western world and its values takes another, more brutal and lawless, form. Terrorists—especially those under the sway of radical Islam such as Al Qaeda—seek nothing less than the destruction of Western society, by whatever means possible. The challenge is clear: how can this new ruthless, stateless adversary be defeated—justly? Osama bin Laden’s death was cheered widely and justified as the dispatching of an individual enemy combatant, indeed one who himself had declared war on the U.S. More difficult dilemmas are raised in bringing justice to the Al Qaeda terrorist suspects held in Western detention. What courts are most appropriate for them, and particularly for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the planner of the attacks on September 11, 2001? 


William Shawcross tracks the difficult history of justice and the enemy from his father’s involvement at Nuremberg, where he was the lead British prosecutor, to the Obama White House, as it grapples with a sustainable definition of justice. Guided by the enduring opinions of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, the chief U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg, Shawcross describes how the lessons of the past can direct us in confronting our enemies today.

“This thoughtful, passionately right-wing study underscores the thorny difficulties the U.S. has faced in bringing the September 11 attackers to court.”

—Publishers Weekly

“This excellent book will make a huge contribution to the debate about the nature of the Islamist threat and ways of responding to it.”

— Amir Taheri, author of The Persian Night: Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution

“In Justice and the Enemy, William Shawcross locates the current controversies over meting out justice to radical Islamist terrorists who have declared on the West, in the long tradition of humane jurisprudence. In this elegant and fair-minded discussion, Shawcross reminds us that defenders of Western civilization do not have to be perfect—who can be in the turmoil of war?—to be good when they try to bring horrific killers to legal account. His elegant discussion is an historical and literary masterpiece, in drawing on a lifetime of confronting enemies of civilization firsthand.”

—Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow, Classics/Military History, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

William Shawcross is a distinguished journalist who has covered international conflicts and conflict resolution for many years. He is the author of many books, including Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia; The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience; Deliver Us from Evil: Warlords, Peacekeepers, and a World of Endless Conflict; Allies; and the bestselling The Queen Mother. He was chairman of Article 19, a London-based charity and pressure group which defends the rights of free expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights. Previous positions also included being a board member of the International Crisis Group. He was also a member of the High Commissioner for Refugees’ Informal Advisory Group from 1995-2000. His father, Hartley Shawcross, was Britain’s lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Shawcross appears regularly on television and radio, and his articles have appeared in leading newspapers and journals throughout the world. He lives in London.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jaime Leifer at 917-849-6012 or email .

250 West 57th Street, Suite 1321, New York, NY 10107

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