Gr 7-10-Critical of the unnecessary length of the post-World War II war crimes trials, the lack of cooperation among the Allies, and especially of the inconsistencies in the verdicts handed down, Morin argues that the tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo failed to establish the clear standard of international justice that was needed to prevent this dark period of modern history from repeating itself. Though she credits the trials with providing the world with a ``permanent record'' of the unthinkable crimes committed, she believes that whatever justice was meted out during the trials in Germany and Japan was undone later by amnesties granted by the Americans to hasten reconciliation in Europe in order to present a united Western European front to the Soviets. Morin cites the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, Saddam Hussein's behavior in Kuwait and in the Kurdish areas in Iraq, and the Bosnian conflict today as unpunished atrocities of war. Good-quality black-and-white archival photos of the personalities and proceedings under discussion appear throughout. A thoughtful and clearly written account, with a definitive message for today's world.-Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
A concise summary of the first Nuremberg trial as well as the other German and Japanese war crime trials. Morin not only offers some political insights into who was tried and why, but also poses these important questions: Can the victors ever provide a fair trial to the vanquished? Are the victors held to the same standards in evaluating their own wartime actions? Why did the earliest defendants receive the harshest sentences? How could the U.S. hold the Japanese commanding officers responsible for the conduct of their troops when the U.S. forces had methodically and effectively destroyed all their lines of communication? An epilogue tying the war crimes of the past to those in Vietnam, Iraq, and Yugoslavia is especially well done. A lot of factual material is packed into a few pages, making this more like a reference book than like a documentary, but the information is important and accurate. Appendixes provide excellent lists of the key defendants in the various trials. There is a fine bibliography, a functional index, and many full-page black-and-white photos. A good starting-point resource for student researchers.