Nuremberg: The Reckoning

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9780151006793: Nuremberg: The Reckoning

Nuremberg's Palace of Justice, 1945:
the scene of a trial without precedent in history, a trial that continues to haunt the modern world. Leading the reader into the Palace is Sebastian, a young German-American whose fate is to be intimately involved with the lives and deaths of others: the father who disappeared mysteriously, the ancestors whose stories become vitally relevant, and some of the towering figures of twentieth-century legal history, including Justice Robert Jackson, Albert Speer, Hermann Goering, and the dark, untried shadow of Adolf Hitler. In a gripping account of warmakers who must face the consequences of their actions, Nuremberg: The Reckoning flows through Warsaw, Berlin, Lodz, Munich, Hamburg, and finally Nuremberg, as Sebastian, an interpreter-interrogator, comes to terms with his family legacy and his national identity. With his customary authority and audacity, William F. Buckley Jr. has taken a pivotal moment in history and shaped it into absorbing and original fiction. The result is a riveting novel of insight and deep understanding exploring the characters and issues that made history.

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Review:

Nuremberg: The Reckoning, William F. Buckley Jr.'s riveting historical novel about the 1945 International Military Tribunal that brought Nazi war criminals to justice, is driven by an illuminating synergy of fact and fiction. While drawing upon the record of furious, real-life events at Nuremberg and writing with mesmerizing authority about such participants as Herman Goering, Albert Speer, and Justice Robert Jackson (the United States' Chief Prosecutor at the Tribunal), Buckley provides readers a helpful, unifying entrée with his invention of the Reinhard family.

On the eve of Germany's 1939 invasion of Poland, building engineer Axel Reinhard and his American wife, Annabelle, finalize secret plans to flee their Hamburg home and, with son Sebastian in tow, emigrate to Phoenix, Arizona. There, Sebastian's grandmother will care for them; at least, that's the plan until the Gestapo forces Axel alone to stay behind. In subsequent years, Axel is pressured to design concentration camps while Sebastian grows into a smart, strapping officer in the U.S. Army. Assigned as a translator-interrogator at Nuremberg, Sebastian is not only thrust into the center of a legal maelstrom, but also finds himself at a crossroads of epic and personal history.

Buckley's work here is enriched by an edifying perspective on the enormous difficulties of developing coherent international law. Particularly fascinating are his insights into shaping a tribunal mentality that can survive generations of second-guessing: Was Nuremberg a perk for the war's victors? Or was it an imperative, delicately realized in the relative absence of legal antecedents? Buckley's superbly researched novel drops us squarely into a thicket of ideas, arguments, and reportage, while grounding our emotions in the Reinhards' collectively compelling story. --Tom Keogh

From the Back Cover:


"One of Buckley's best.... Masterfully written." --Forbes

Nuremberg's Palace of Justice, 1945 : Yanked from routine army duty to serve as an interpreter at Nuremberg, Sebastian Reinhardt, a young German-American, seems fated to be intimately involved with the lives and deaths of others. In hearing the stories of the infamous Nazi killers and war makers, he encounters not only the towering figures of that dark history--among them Albert Speer, Hermann Goering, and the untried shadow of Adolf Hitler--but also those his own dark history as the lives of his ancestors become vitally relevant. In a gripping account of actions and consequences, Nuremberg is a riveting novel of insight and deep understanding, of treachery and vengeance, and of the struggle for justice found in a hangman's noose.
With his renowned authority and skill, William F. Buckley Jr. has shaped a pivotal moment in history into one of the more provocative, absorbing novels ever written.

A Selection of Eagle Book Clubs

"A provocative take on history." --The Washington Post Book World

"Inventive and absorbing." --Los Angeles Times

William F. Buckley, Jr. is the founder of National Review and was the host of television's longest-running program, Firing Line. He was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The author of fourteen other novels, many of them bestsellers, he lives in Connecticut.

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