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Stay the Hand of Vengeance:
The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals
Gary Jonathan Bass
With a new afterword by the author

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1


"The best work yet on the politics of justice after war. This historically rich, theoretically informed study explores both celebrated and little known chapters in history, from St. Helena to The Hague."--G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"[An] invaluable book."--Barry Gewen, The American Interest

"[An] impressive book. . . The author, using a wide range of original archive sources and covering some material about which little has been written about in the past, examines in a meticulous, scholarly fashion the approach the victors took towards Napoleon, the kaiser, the Turks after the First World War, and the Nazis."--Mark Allinson, History

"[A] well-researched and stimulating book."--Michael Lind, The Washington Post Book World

"Why do even liberal states demand war crimes tribunals in some situations and not others? What political factors explain why some war criminals are vigorously pursued and prosecuted, while others are largely ignored? These are the kinds of questions that Bass's history seeks to answer."--Booklist

"Employing detailed research and compelling arguments, Bass offers timely and convincing evidence that international war tribunals provide a viable process by which human rights can be upheld throughout the international community."--Kirkus Reviews

"[A]n exhaustive and magisterial survey that chronicles the complexities of such proceedings from Napoleon through Rwanda."--Jesse Berrett,

"Combining the investigative skills of the journalist and the scholarship of the political scientist, Bass offers an unprecedented book on the politics of war crimes tribunals . . . This is a timely and compelling book. . ."--Choice

"Bass has done extensive research as well as investigative reporting in fashioning an unusual book."--The Virginia Quarterly

"[An] important and engrossing book: Bass's scholarship will challenge widely divergent views about war crimes tribunals."--Amit Agarwal, The Weekly Standard

"A solid, lively, and readable contribution to the politics of international criminal justice."--Antonio Cassese, International History Review

"The book could not be more timely."--David Propson, New York Law Journal

"A comprehensive account of how modern society handles war criminals. . . . As America wrestles with international judicial questions, Bass' account of how the dynamics of tribunals have changed throughout the past two centuries is relevant reading indeed."--Meg Kinnard,

"Stay the Hand of Vengeance is a well researched and convincing book. Gary Jonathan Bass argues that war crimes tribunals, though tugged in various directions by the political forces of 'realism' and 'idealism' are in fact best understood not by grand sweeping models of political behavior but by a clear-headed investigation of the conditions under which they arise and proceed."--Joshua Sanborn, Journal of Slavic Military Studies

"This excellent book is a worthwhile acquisition for anyone and any library, but it is an essential one for those concerned with international law, international organization, and war crimes. Bass combines the best of his scholarly political science training with his experience as a former correspondent with The Economist."--Arthur W. Blaser, American Political Science Review


"This study of the politics of war crimes tribunals discovers past cases that almost nobody had examined and covers in a lucid and provocative way more familiar recent examples. It is the best book on the subject, a humane plea for justice as the only alternative to unacceptable oblivion or vengeance, and a worthy addition to the company of brilliant first books."--Stanley Hoffmann, Harvard University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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