As we move toward trials challenging the legitimacy of the Bush administration's use of detentions in Guantanamo and elsewhere, Roosevelt's response to the captured Germans - military tribunals, a secret trial, and hasty executions - offers a cautionary tale of the danger of unchecked executive power in a time of crisis. The best kind of historical non-fiction: a rollicking narrative driven by the personality of the central character: the brilliant trial attorney Kenneth Royall, designated to represent the Germans, who took on the President of the United States and the Supreme Court.
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