Nuremberg: The Reckoning

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9780156027472: Nuremberg: The Reckoning

Sebastian Reinhardt, a young German-American, is yanked from routine army duty in America to serve as an interpreter at Nuremberg's Palace of Justice in 1945. He hears the stories of the infamous Nazi killers and war makers, who face prosecutors determined to bring them to justice, and encounters the towering figures of twentieth-century legal, political, and military history, among them Justice Robert Jackson, Albert Speer, Hermann Goering, and the dark, untried shadow of Adolf Hitler. As the trial unfolds, Sebastian must come to terms with his family legacy and national identity.
With his renowned authority and audacity, William F. Buckley Jr. creates a riveting thriller, taking the reader through unforgettable scenes of treachery and vengeance, love and hatred, and the struggle for justice found in a hangman's noose.

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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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