Stay the Hand of Vengeance

The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals


Order from an independent bookstore here

sthov_cover“Compelling …. Stay the Hand of Vengeance is a timely and exhaustive survey of how political leaders have wrestled with the problem of war criminals since 1815 … . Bass … argues convincingly that trying war criminals is a better option than its alternative: revenge. … [An] important reminder … that … governments, including our own, must keep step by prosecuting war criminals.”
—Chuck Sudetic, The New York Times Book Review

"A riveting history of war crimes trials."
—Samantha Power, Slate

“One of the most valuable books to appear about doing justice.”
—Aryeh Neier, The New York Review of Books

“Compelling … . Bass, a professor at Princeton, makes a realist's case for idealism and a pessimist's case for perseverance.”
The New Yorker

“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. … Striking.”
Foreign Affairs

“An intriguing tale, and one told with flair. … Mr Bass's compelling account of earlier attempts to apply law in the aftermath of armed conflicts offers a useful historical setting for the current debates about a permanent court. … International legalism, after a century of the failures and false starts recounted so well by Mr Bass, may after all be about to come of age.”
The Economist

“A major new study of the history of these tribunals …. Fascinating … . A masterly study of the international politicking surrounding the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. … Written with enviable lightness of touch, but fortified with a mass of serious scholarship in the notes, this is a model study of a complex subject. Its … argument is dispassionately made, and highly persuasive. A copy of this book should be sent forthwith to Mr Kostunica in Belgrade.”
—Noel Malcolm, The Sunday Telegraph

“Important and engrossing.”
—Amit Agarwal, The Weekly Standard

—Jesse Berrett, Salon

“An invaluable book.”
—Barry Gewen, The American Interest

“A well-researched and stimulating book.”
—Michael Lind, The Washington Post Book World

“His deeply researched book is a valuable antidote to the ahistorical nature of much writing on international humanitarian law … . Fascinating.”
—Anthony Dworkin, TLS

“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.”
American Political Science Review

"Impressive and highly readable ... . Bass has written what is probably the most masterful exposition yet produced about historical attempts at international criminal justice. ... [A] gem of a book. ... Bass presents a fascinating story ... . Will stand out for years as a seminal work in the growing field of war crimes studies." 
—David J. Scheffer, American Journal of International Law