Descripción de editorial
Novelist Sybille Bedford watched courts closely and with insight in England, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France, and she found stories of human frailty and impulsive action, among both the defendants facing judgment in court and the judges and juries deciding their fates. Their tales are fascinating and resonate today.
Not only are the social and political differences apparent in these countries and their machinery of crime and justice, but also their historic perceptions of fairness and order are laid bare. In the process, Bedford recounts the compelling saga of a father on trial in Germany for killing the man who repeatedly exposed himself to the defendant's young daughter, the immigrant in Switzerland who swiped a watch to impress a chambermaid, the Algerians in France who shot up a series of Parisian cafes, and the English woman sentenced for forgetting to pay for her butter while she was distracted by sudden news that her father was dying. Scores of other gripping stories are shared, across several cultures and systems.
Although this book is long recognized as an outstanding account of comparative legal systems and criminal procedure, it does not read at all like a dry legal study. Bedford focuses on the real people involved, leading to the wide acclaim this classic book has enjoyed over the years. It is true crime told in its candor, and often its pettiness and stupidity, in the crisp prose of a master novelist. It is very accessible to a general audience and was written for the general U.S. readership.