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Let the Lord Sort Them

Author : Maurice Chammah
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2021-01-26
Category : Law
ISBN : 9781524760274

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Book Let the Lord Sort Them Description/Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A deeply reported, searingly honest portrait of the death penalty in Texas—and what it tells us about crime and punishment in America “If you’re one of those people who despair that nothing changes, and dream that something can, this is a story of how it does.”—Anand Giridharadas, The New York Times Book Review WINNER OF THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS AWARD In 1972, the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country’s death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Then, amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform, came the death penalty’s decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. In Let the Lord Sort Them, Maurice Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. We meet Elsa Alcala, the orphaned daughter of a Mexican American family who found her calling as a prosecutor in the nation’s death penalty capital, before becoming a judge on the state’s highest court. We meet Danalynn Recer, a lawyer who became obsessively devoted to unearthing the life stories of men who committed terrible crimes, and fought for mercy in courtrooms across the state. We meet death row prisoners—many of them once-famous figures like Henry Lee Lucas, Gary Graham, and Karla Faye Tucker—along with their families and the families of their victims. And we meet the executioners, who struggle openly with what society has asked them to do. In tracing these interconnected lives against the rise of mass incarceration in Texas and the country as a whole, Chammah explores what the persistence of the death penalty tells us about forgiveness and retribution, fairness and justice, history and myth. Written with intimacy and grace, Let the Lord Sort Them is the definitive portrait of a particularly American institution.

Let the Lord Sort Them

Author : Maurice Chammah
Publisher : Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Release : 2021
Category : History
ISBN : 9781524760267

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Book Let the Lord Sort Them Description/Summary:

In 1972 the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country's death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform came the death penalty's decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. -- adapted from publisher info

Let the Lord Sort Them

Author : Maurice Chammah
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2022-01-18
Category : History
ISBN : 1524760285

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Book Let the Lord Sort Them Description/Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE - A deeply reported, searingly honest portrait of the death penalty in Texas--and what it tells us about crime and punishment in America "If you're one of those people who despair that nothing changes, and dream that something can, this is a story of how it does."--Anand Giridharadas, The New York Times Book Review WINNER OF THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS WORK-IN-PROGRESS AWARD In 1972, the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country's death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Then, amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform, came the death penalty's decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. In Let the Lord Sort Them, Maurice Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. We meet Elsa Alcala, the orphaned daughter of a Mexican American family who found her calling as a prosecutor in the nation's death penalty capital, before becoming a judge on the state's highest court. We meet Danalynn Recer, a lawyer who became obsessively devoted to unearthing the life stories of men who committed terrible crimes, and fought for mercy in courtrooms across the state. We meet death row prisoners--many of them once-famous figures like Henry Lee Lucas, Gary Graham, and Karla Faye Tucker--along with their families and the families of their victims. And we meet the executioners, who struggle openly with what society has asked them to do. In tracing these interconnected lives against the rise of mass incarceration in Texas and the country as a whole, Chammah explores what the persistence of the death penalty tells us about forgiveness and retribution, fairness and justice, history and myth. Written with intimacy and grace, Let the Lord Sort Them is the definitive portrait of a particularly American institution.

A Descending Spiral

Author : Marc Bookman
Publisher : The New Press
Release : 2021-06-25
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9781620976593

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Book A Descending Spiral Description/Summary:

Powerful, wry essays offering modern takes on a primitive practice, from one of our most widely read death penalty abolitionists As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has noted, people who are well represented at trial rarely get the death penalty. But as Marc Bookman shows in a dozen brilliant essays, the problems with capital punishment run far deeper than just bad representation. Exploring prosecutorial misconduct, racist judges and jurors, drunken lawyering, and executing the innocent and the mentally ill, these essays demonstrate that precious few people on trial for their lives get the fair trial the Constitution demands. Today, death penalty cases continue to capture the hearts, minds, and eblasts of progressives of all stripes—including the rich and famous (see Kim Kardashian’s advocacy)—but few people with firsthand knowledge of America’s “injustice system” have the literary chops to bring death penalty stories to life. Enter Marc Bookman. With a voice that is both literary and journalistic, the veteran capital defense lawyer and seven-time Best American Essays “notable” author exposes the dark absurdities and fatal inanities that undermine the logic of the death penalty wherever it still exists. In essays that cover seemingly “ordinary” capital cases over the last thirty years, Bookman shows how violent crime brings out our worst human instincts—revenge, fear, retribution, and prejudice. Combining these emotions with the criminal legal system’s weaknesses—purposely ineffective, arbitrary, or widely infected with racism and misogyny—is a recipe for injustice. Bookman has been charming and educating readers in the pages of The Atlantic, Mother Jones, and Slate for years. His wit and wisdom are now collected and preserved in A Descending Spiral.

Executed on a Technicality

Author : David R. Dow
Publisher : Beacon Press
Release : 2006-05-01
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 0807044199

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Book Executed on a Technicality Description/Summary:

When David Dow took his first capital case, he supported the death penalty. He changed his position as the men on death row became real people to him, and as he came to witness the profound injustices they endured: from coerced confessions to disconcertingly incompetent lawyers; from racist juries and backward judges to a highly arbitrary death penalty system. It is these concrete accounts of the people Dow has known and represented that prove the death penalty is consistently unjust, and it's precisely this fundamental-and lethal-injustice, Dow argues, that should compel us to abandon the system altogether.

Right Here, Right Now

Author : Lynden Harris
Publisher : Duke University Press
Release : 2021-04-02
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9781478021421

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Book Right Here, Right Now Description/Summary:

Upon receiving his execution date, one of the thousands of men living on death row in the United States had an epiphany: “All there ever is, is this moment. You, me, all of us, right here, right now, this minute, that's love.” Right Here, Right Now collects the powerful, first-person stories of dozens of men on death rows across the country. From childhood experiences living with poverty, hunger, and violence to mental illness and police misconduct to coming to terms with their executions, these men outline their struggle to maintain their connection to society and sustain the humanity that incarceration and its daily insults attempt to extinguish. By offering their hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, failures, and wounds, the men challenge us to reconsider whether our current justice system offers actual justice or simply perpetuates the social injustices that obscure our shared humanity.

Dead Man Walking

Author : Helen Prejean
Publisher : Vintage
Release : 2011-02-02
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780307787699

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Book Dead Man Walking Description/Summary:

In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier’s death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. She also came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute—men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing. Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Here Sister Helen confronts both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the fears of a society shattered by violence and the Christian imperative of love. On its original publication in 1993, Dead Man Walking emerged as an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty. Now, some two decades later, this story—which has inspired a film, a stage play, an opera and a musical album—is more gut-wrenching than ever, stirring deep and life-changing reflection in all who encounter it.

Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty: Current Issues and Controversies

Author : Marc J. Tassé Ph.D.,John H. Blume JD, MAR
Publisher : ABC-CLIO
Release : 2017-12-01
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9781440840159

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Book Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty: Current Issues and Controversies Description/Summary:

Providing key information for students or professionals in the fields of criminology, education, psychology, law, and law enforcement, this book documents the legal and clinical aspects of the issues related to intellectual disability and the death penalty. • Provides a comprehensive review of the legal and clinical aspects of the death penalty and intellectual disability • Offers a detailed discussion of the Supreme court decision in Atkins v. Virginia as well as a review of court decisions since that 2002 ruling • Details the diagnostic issues related to determination of intellectual disability, such as the assessment of intellectual functioning, adaptive behavior, and age of onset • Shares best practices in clinical assessment and important forensic matters that must be considered

Death Penalty Mitigation

Author : Jose B. Ashford,Melissa Kupferberg
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2013-10-03
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9780195329469

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Book Death Penalty Mitigation Description/Summary:

This handbook examines theoretical frameworks and concepts from the social sciences with implications for guiding the identification, evaluation, and presentation of mitigation evidence.

End of Its Rope

Author : Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2017-09-25
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780674981966

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Book End of Its Rope Description/Summary:

Today, death sentences in the U.S. are as rare as lightning strikes. Brandon Garrett shows us the reasons why, and explains what the failed death penalty experiment teaches about the effect of inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments throughout the criminal justice system.

Anatomy of Injustice

Author : Raymond Bonner
Publisher : Vintage
Release : 2013
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780307948540

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Book Anatomy of Injustice Description/Summary:

In January 1982, en elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in a small town of Greenwood, South Carolina. The arrest and conviction of Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system. With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Raymond Bonner follows the efforts of a courageous young attorney, Dianna Holt, to save Elmore's life. -- from back cover.

The Last Gasp

Author : Scott Christianson
Publisher : Univ of California Press
Release : 2010-07-12
Category : History
ISBN : 9780520945616

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Book The Last Gasp Description/Summary:

The Last Gasp takes us to the dark side of human history in the first full chronicle of the gas chamber in the United States. In page-turning detail, award-winning writer Scott Christianson tells a dreadful story that is full of surprising and provocative new findings. First constructed in Nevada in 1924, the gas chamber, a method of killing sealed off and removed from the sight and hearing of witnesses, was originally touted as a "humane" method of execution. Delving into science, war, industry, medicine, law, and politics, Christianson overturns this mythology for good. He exposes the sinister links between corporations looking for profit, the military, and the first uses of the gas chamber after World War I. He explores little-known connections between the gas chamber and the eugenics movement. Perhaps most controversially, he has unearthed new evidence about American and German collaboration in the production and lethal use of hydrogen cyanide and about Hitler’s adoption of gas chamber technology developed in the United States. More than a book about the death penalty, this compelling history ultimately reveals much about America’s values and power structures in the twentieth century.

The Wrong Carlos

Author : James S. Liebman,Shawn Crowley,Andrew Markquart,Lauren Rosenberg
Publisher : Columbia University Press
Release : 2014-07-08
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780231167239

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Book The Wrong Carlos Description/Summary:

In 1989, Texas executed Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence, for the murder of Wanda Lopez, a convenience store clerk. His execution passed unnoticed for years until a team of Columbia Law School faculty and students almost accidentally chose to investigate his case and found that DeLuna almost certainly was innocent. They discovered that no one had cared enough about either the defendant or the victim to make sure the real perpetrator was found. Everything that could go wrong in a criminal case did. This book documents DeLunaÕs conviction, which was based on a single, nighttime, cross-ethnic eyewitness identification with no corroborating forensic evidence. At his trial, DeLunaÕs defense, that another man named Carlos had committed the crime, was not taken seriously. The lead prosecutor told the jury that the other Carlos, Carlos Hernandez, was a ÒphantomÓ of DeLunaÕs imagination. In upholding the death penalty on appeal, both the state and federal courts concluded the same thing: Carlos Hernandez did not exist. The evidence the Columbia team uncovered reveals that Hernandez not only existed but was well known to the police and prosecutors. He had a long history of violent crimes similar to the one for which DeLuna was executed. Families of both Carloses mistook photos of each for the other, and HernandezÕs violence continued after DeLuna was put to death. This book and its website (thewrongcarlos.net) reproduce law-enforcement, crime lab, lawyer, court, social service, media, and witness records, as well as court transcripts, photographs, radio traffic, and audio and videotaped interviews, documenting one of the most comprehensive investigations into a criminal case in U.S. history. The result is eye-opening yet may not be unusual. Faulty eyewitness testimony, shoddy legal representation, and prosecutorial misfeasance continue to put innocent people at risk of execution. The principal investigators conclude with novel suggestions for improving accuracy among the police, prosecutors, forensic scientists, and judges.

Arbitrary Death

Author : Rick Unklesbay
Publisher : Wheatmark, Inc.
Release : 2019-05-10
Category : Law
ISBN : 9781627876810

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Book Arbitrary Death Description/Summary:

Over a career spanning nearly four decades, Rick Unklesbay has tried over one hundred murder cases before juries that ended with sixteen men and women receiving the death sentence. Arbitrary Death depicts some of the most horrific murders in Tucson, Arizona, the author's prosecution of those cases, and how the death penalty was applied. It provides the framework to answer the questions: Why is America the only Western country to still use the death penalty? Can a human-run system treat those cases fairly and avoid unconstitutional arbitrariness? It is an insider's view from someone who has spent decades prosecuting murder cases and who now argues that the death penalty doesn't work and our system is fundamentally flawed. With a rational, balanced approach, Unklesbay depicts cases that represent how different parts of the criminal justice system are responsible for the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and work against the fair application of the law. The prosecution, trial courts, juries, and appellate courts all play a part in what ultimately is a roll of the dice as to whether a defendant lives or dies. Arbitrary Death is for anyone who wonders why and when its government seeks to legally take the life of one of its citizens. It will have you questioning whether you can support a system that applies death as an arbitrary punishment -- and often decades after the sentence was given.

Death Row Chaplain

Author : Earl Smith,Mark Schlabach
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2015-05-19
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9781476777795

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Book Death Row Chaplain Description/Summary:

From a former criminal and now chaplain for the San Francisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, comes a riveting, behind-the-bars look at one of America’s most feared prisons: San Quentin. Reverend Earl Smith shares the most important lessons he’s learned from years of helping inmates discover God’s plan for them. In 1983, twenty-seven-year-old Earl Smith arrived at San Quentin just like everyone thought he would. Labeled as a gang member and criminal from a young age, Smith was expected to do some time, but after a brush with death during a botched drug deal, Smith’s soul was saved and his life path was altered forever. From that moment on, Smith knew God had an unusual mission for him, and he became the minister to the lost souls sitting on death row. For twenty-three years, Smith played chess with Charles Manson, witnessed twelve executions, and negotiated truces between rival gangs. But most importantly, Smith helped the prisoners of San Quentin find redemption, hope, and understand that it is still possible to find God’s grace and mercy from behind bars. Edgy, insightful, and thought provoking, Death Row Chaplain teaches us that God’s grace can reach anyone—even the most desperate and lost—and that it’s never too late to turn our lives around.

Old Sparky

Author : Anthony Galvin
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2016-10-18
Category : History
ISBN : 9781510711358

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Book Old Sparky Description/Summary:

A shocking exploration of America’s preferred method of capital punishment. In early 2013, Robert Gleason became the latest victim of the electric chair, a peculiarly American execution method. Shouting Póg mo thóin (“Kiss my ass” in Gaelic), he grinned as electricity shot through his system. When the current was switched off, his body slumped against the leather restraints, and Gleeson, who had strangled two fellow inmates to ensure his execution was not postponed, was dead. The execution had gone flawlessly—not a guaranteed result with the electric chair, which has gone horrifically wrong on many occasions. Old Sparky covers the history of capital punishment in America and the “current wars” between Edison and Westinghouse that led to the development of the electric chair. It examines how the electric chair became the most popular method of execution in America before being superseded by lethal injection. Famous executions are explored, alongside quirky last meals and poignant last words. The death penalty remains a hot topic of debate in America, and Old Sparky does not shy away from that controversy. Executions have gone spectacularly wrong, with convicts being set alight or needing up to five jolts of electricity before dying. There have been terrible miscarriages of justice, and the death penalty has not been applied even-handedly. Historically, African Americans, the mentally challenged, and poor defendants have been likely to get the chair, an anomaly which led the Supreme Court to briefly suspend the death penalty. Since the resumption of capital punishment in 1976, Texas alone has executed more than five hundred prisoners, and death row is full. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

The Sun Does Shine

Author : Anthony Ray Hinton,Lara Love Hardin
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2018-03-27
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9781250124715

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Book The Sun Does Shine Description/Summary:

"A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit"--

Deadly Justice

Author : Frank Baumgartner,Colin Wilson
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2017
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780190841546

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Book Deadly Justice Description/Summary:

In 1976, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty was constitutional if it complied with certain specific provisions designed to ensure that it was reserved for the 'worst of the worst.' The same court had rejected the death penalty just four years before in the Furman decision because it found that the penalty had been applied in a capricious and arbitrary manner. The 1976 decision ushered in the 'modern' period of the US death penalty, setting the country on a course to execute over 1,400 inmates in the ensuing years, with over 8,000 individuals currently sentenced to die. Now, forty years after the decision, the eminent political scientist Frank Baumgartner along with a team of younger scholars (Marty Davidson, Kaneesha Johnson, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Colin Wilson) have collaborated to assess the empirical record and provide a definitive account of how the death penalty has been implemented. Each chapter addresses a precise empirical question and provides evidence, not opinion, about whether how the modern death penalty has functioned. They decided to write the book after Justice Breyer issued a dissent in a 2015 death penalty case in which he asked for a full briefing on the constitutionality of the death penalty. In particular, they assess the extent to which the modern death penalty has met the aspirations of Gregg or continues to suffer from the flaws that caused its rejection in Furman. To answer this question, they provide the most comprehensive statistical account yet of the workings of the capital punishment system. Authoritative and pithy, the book is intended for both students in a wide variety of fields, researchers studying the topic, and--not least--the Supreme Court itself.

Quest for Justice

Author : Richard Jaffe
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2020-03-23
Category : Uncategorized
ISBN : 0999472828

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Book Quest for Justice Description/Summary:

Richard Jaffe's explosive second edition of Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned affirms the vital role criminal defense lawyers play in the balance between life and death, liberty and lockup. It is a compelling journey into the legal and human drama of life or death criminal cases that often reads more like hard to imagine fiction, yet these cases are real. Quest for Justice invites readers into the courtroom and into the field with Richard Jaffe, a powerhouse Alabama defense attorney with more than four decades of experience, who has successfully defended hundreds of individuals accused of murder, including more than seventy cases where the defendant faced the death penalty, including the Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, in Alabama, nine people have been exonerated from death row-Jaffe represented four of them: James Willie "Bo" Cochran, Randal Padgett, Gary Drinkard, and Wesley Quick. Though every chapter reveals more alarming, gut-wrenching cases, and impediments to justice, Jaffe's unwavering determination, hope, and strategies in the courtroom yield many momentous victories for his clients and the cause of justice. In Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned, Richard Jaffe offers all audiences an accessible, page-turning perspective borne out of a life representing the damned in America's criminal justice system.

After Hitler

Author : Michael Jones
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2015-10-06
Category : History
ISBN : 9780698407817

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Book After Hitler Description/Summary:

Ten days that changed the course of history. On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin. But victory over the Nazi regime was not celebrated in western Europe until May 8, and in Russia a day later, on the ninth. Why did a peace agreement take so much time? How did this brutal, protracted conflict coalesce into its unlikely endgame? After Hitler shines a light on ten fascinating days after that infamous suicide that changed the course of the twentieth century. Combining exhaustive research with masterfully paced storytelling, Michael Jones recounts the Führer’s frantic last stand; the devious maneuverings of his handpicked successor, Karl Dönitz; the grudging respect Joseph Stalin had for Churchill and FDR, as well as his distrust of Harry Truman; the bold negotiating by General Dwight D. Eisenhower that hastened Germany’s surrender but drew the ire of the Kremlin; the journalist who almost scuttled the cease-fire; and the thousands of ordinary British, American, and Russian soldiers caught in the swells of history, from the Red Army’s march on Berlin to the liberation of the Nazis’ remaining concentration camps. Through it all, Jones traces the shifting loyalties between East and West that sowed the seeds of the Cold War and nearly unraveled the Grand Alliance. In this gripping, eloquent, and even-handed narrative, the spring of 1945 comes alive—a fascinating time when nothing was certain, and every second mattered.… INCLUDES PHOTOS