Famous Trials in History

Famous Trials in History

by Elisabeth A. Cawthon

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Cawthon (history, Univ. of Texas; Medicine on Trial: A Sourcebook with Cases, Laws, and Documents) "collects 100 significant legal trials" that date from the time of Socrates to today. While some of these trials are certainly significant, they are also obscure, except perhaps to legal scholars and historians, and consequently information on them is difficult to find. Ranging in length from two to several pages, the legalese-free entries provide a discussion of the key issues of the trial under examination, a history of the case, argument summaries, and the verdict. Also featured are the significance of the case and a brief further-reading list. There is also a selected bibliography and chronological and topical lists of the trials (although the years are not part of the list). BOTTOM LINE College users and legal history buffs will find Cawthon's book a useful starting point for research and a helpful adjunct to Scott P. Johnson's Trials of the Century (ABC-CLIO, 2010).—Beth Bland, Milwaukee
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Cawthon's compelling title presents 100 cases that form a composite picture of jurisprudence spanning centuries and continents. A range of trials is introduced, including those coming before juries and military and religious courts. Some highlight a legal or historic precedent, while others are notable for celebrity involvement or the sensational nature of the crimes involved. Proceedings are presented chronologically, beginning with the 499 B.C.E. trial of Socrates and ending with the 2010 trial of Kaing Guek Eav, a Khmer Rouge leader. Entries present key issues, the history of the case, a summary of the arguments, verdict(s), and cultural or historical precedents. A thematic list, with headings such as "Civil Liberties," "Children," and "Industrial Accidents," is appended. Author bias/error is a factor only rarely. In describing key issues of Anne Hutchinson's 1638 case, Cawthon writes, "Hutchinson…was something of a partner in her own martyrdom," and on the circumstances that led to O.J. Simpson's 1995 trial, she comments, "the former husband killed [Nicole Brown Simpson]." Libraries with Scott Patrick Johnson's Trials of the Century (ABC-CLIO, 2011), which is limited to U.S. trials, should consider this well-organized, clearly written title for its global coverage.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

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Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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