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The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold (Paperback)
Charles I waged civil wars that cost one in ten Englishmen their lives. But in 1649 Parliament was hard put to find a lawyer with the skill and daring to prosecute a king who claimed to be above the law. In the end, they chose the radical lawyer John Cooke, whose Puritan conscience, political vision, and love of civil liberties gave him the courage to bring the king to trial. As a result, Charles I was beheaded, but eleven years later Cooke himself was arrested, tried, and executed at the hands of Charles II.
Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned human rights lawyer, provides a vivid new reading of the tumultuous Civil War years, exposing long-hidden truths: that the king was guilty, that his execution was necessary to establish the sovereignty of Parliament, that the regicide trials were rigged and their victims should be seen as national heroes. Cooke's trial of Charles I, the first trial of a head of state for waging war on his own people, became a forerunner of the trials of Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, and Saddam Hussein. The Tyrannicide Brief is a superb work of history that casts a revelatory light on some of the most important issues of our time.
About the Author
GEOFFREY ROBERTSON, a leading human rights lawyer and UN war-crimes judge, has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe, and the Commonwealth. He was involved in the case against General Pinochet and in the training of judges who tried Saddam Hussein. His book Crimes Against Humanity has been an inspiration for the global justice movement. Robertson, who was born in Australia, now lives in London.
“Superb. . . . We owe Robertson a debt for reminding us of our benefactors and the price they paid.” —The Wall Street Journal“Fascinating. . . . The best account of these events to date. . . . A very major book, a persuasive reminder of the ongoing need to defend human rights and civil liberties. . . . Historical writing and legal writing at its best.” —Houston Chronicle“Scholarly and gripping. . . . The Tyrannicide Brief is not only a compelling history and legal thriller, but also a telling commentary for today.” —New York Law Journal Magazine