Traitors and Heroes: A Lawyer's Memoir

Martin Garbus, Author Atheneum Books $19.95 (305p) ISBN 978-0-689-11888-3
Those accused of treason are often men and women who challenge the illegal acts of a political regime, according to this forceful account by human rights activist and New York City trial lawyer Garbus (Ready for the Defense who was courtmartialed by the U.S. Army in 1955 for his political views (charges were dropped). He has not only visited jails and documented atrocities committed in dictatorships but observed and participated in political trials of South African National Congress members: Allende supporters in Chile, including the murdered former ambassador to the U.S., Orlando Letellier; and such dissenters as Anatoly Shcharansky and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. Garbus also cites cases of human rights abuses in the U.S., like the 1973 treatment of the South Dakota Indians at Wounded Knee, and decries the recent flood of libel judgments unleashed by the Pentagon Papers case, which tends to curb free expression. Arguing that the U.S. has the power to influence international human rights, he urges adoption of a global bill of rights for all political prisoners. (July 14)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-88184-540-2
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