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Editorial Reviews

Courtroom dramas have always consumed the public's attention. There is a certain high-stakes drama that takes place in the halls of justice. Ann and John Tusa have collaborated to capture those emotions in their historical study of The Nuremberg Trial. The Nuremberg Trial isn't some bland textbook; the Tusas' personable narration delivers to listeners the countless personal stories at the heart of one of history's most infamous court battles. A deft performance by Ralph Cosham only serves to accentuate the care Ann and John Tusa have taken in relaying the facts of Nuremberg with humanity and insight.

Publisher's Summary

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.

©2010 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Fascinating… The Tusas’ book is one of the best accounts I have read.” (The New York Times)

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A really interesting listen


Ralph Cosham did a good job reading and did not intrude on the content

I found I needed to go back and read or listen again to other books to learn 'who is who'. And then do a Wikipedia search on the Trial and the Defendents.
(Shirer's Berlin Diary and Rise and Fall did convey the gut wrenching reactions of the time.)

Most interesting were the motivations of Judges and Lawyers involved compared to the Governments and politicians.

And to my thinking, a person only needs a genuine interest in the Second World War to find this book valuable.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Good because its so detailed

What other book might you compare The Nuremberg Trial to and why?

I listened to this book immediately after my 2nd trip through William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It was a very good complement, picking up the story of the Nazis that survived the war. But make no mistake, while Shirer's book is a reasonably thorough history of German politics from 1920-1945 at roughly 57 hours, this book is packed with a huge amount of detail, clocking in at almost 26 hours and covering the events of barely a year.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Try reading at 1.25 speed.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this read of the trials of the century. It was a little slow at points for those who aren't too familiar with lawyer jargon but the sections dealing with the courtroom and the prosecuted was by far the best parts and kept the book flowing fairly well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Work

Ann Tusa and John Tusa have created a great piece of work on this subject. If you are a student of this period of history, you need to listen to this book. If you are a student of international law, then listen to this book. If you want to understand this period of history, then listen to this book. Ralph Cosham haunting voice really does justice to this book. This book covers the period, subject and opinions very well. It leaves for dead the movies and documentaries produced on the Nuremberg Trial.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Detailed and rewarding listen for history buffs

When I look for books on Audible, I check the reviews first, especially the negative ones. Usually those will highlight things which are immediate deal breakers. So let me start with the negatives first:
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CONS

1) There's a level of background knowledge needed for this book.

The authors provide a sufficient summary of World War II, which of course sets the stage for the Nuremberg Trials. However, I feel that some questions may go unanswered if someone doesn't understand why the Soviet Union was hellbent on summary execution of the defendants, for example. The book stands well on its own, and the content is digestible, but I would be hesitant to recommend it to someone who isn't a fan of history.

2) Sometimes the book will get boring.

Although the Nuremberg Trials were just over 70 years ago, the subject matter is very politically sensitive. This, along with the fact that history is not always a drama or thriller, means that sometimes the book will resemble a college lecture. Some parts of political history have to be understood in full context, even if the context is rather dry. While the Nuremberg Trials had a lot of exciting drama, outbursts, and even humor, it was still a judicial case, which can at times be mind numbing. Narrator Ralph Cosham's performance does little to help this. While I feel he could have injected emotion and higher energy into the writing, that request becomes rather tricky when the subject matter includes one of the worst inhumane atrocities in the 20th century.
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I don't see these two cons as deal breakers. I'd imagine anyone precisely looking for audiobooks on the Nuremberg Trials knows that a) even the most exciting historical events have highs and lows, and b) contextual understanding is paramount. For example, it would be impossible to understand China during the Mao Era if you didn't have sufficient understanding of western imperialism during the 1800s.

Anyway, onto the good stuff!!
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PROS


1) Dripping with detail and facts.

The Nuremberg Trials lasted an incredibly long time, and they were unprecedented in their scope, goals, and size. This book answered every last question I had on the subject, without becoming repetitious. Furthermore, it effectively introduced seemingly irrelevant information, and masterfully explained how it all fits into the bigger picture. When it came to describing the defendants, it was meticulously detailed. There's more than enough information on Hermann Göring's intelligence, cunning, wit, and sadism, or Rudolph Hess' ability to act mentally incompetent while having actual bouts of mental incompetence. The profiles of the defendants are some of the most interesting parts of the book.


2) The scope of this book is deceptive. On top of documenting the days of the trial, it discusses:

a) Should there even be a trial? Which countries wanted a speedy trial, a thorough trial, or just a show trial with a firing squad waiting outside?

b) How does one structure a trial which makes the defendants feel like they can represent themselves fairly, and negotiate more favorable terms of punishment?

c) How can the trial be ran without the defendants using it as a platform to criticize the allies for actions such as the Dresden or Tokyo firebombing, or nuclear weapons use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

d) How close was the trial to collapsing due to political infighting between France, U.S, U.K, USSR, and others?

e) How did the defendants react to the trial, their first night in prison, their sentence to death, or footage of war crimes in the court room?

f) How did lack of standing infrastructure, vehicles, materials, and resources hamper the setup and planning of the trial?

g) What was the public opinion of the trial in various countries such as Germany, France, the Soviet Union, or the UK?

All these questions, and any more, are covered wonderfully in the book. There's so much more to the subject that makes the Nuremberg Trails not just a court case, but a landmark historical event that has an effect on international law today.
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I'm tired of writing. The book is a wild ride. Get it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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important read, but the narration is painful

What made the experience of listening to The Nuremberg Trial the most enjoyable?

-attention to detail<br/>-well paced and well written material<br/>

What didn’t you like about Ralph Cosham’s performance?

He lisps and sputters his way through his reading...

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Nuremberg

I loved this book. I aways wanted to know about the trial s and the audio book told me everything .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Errors detract from the experience

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Clean up the spelling errors and eliminate the differences between the spoken and written versions.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Nuremberg Trial?

I do not know the nationality of the authors but they obviously we're not favourable disposed to Justice Jackson's cross but found the British capabilities exemplary. Not having read the research material I have no way of knowing if this was justified.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Ralph Cosham?

From time to time Mr Cosham seemed to change the tone of his voice and this was a bit distracting. I probably would listen again, it was not an unpleasant experience.

Was The Nuremberg Trial worth the listening time?

I would read and listen for about 70% of the book but found that I preferred to just read the final two chapters.

Any additional comments?

All in all it was a good narrative of the trial and the preparations. It did not deal with the extended implications of the outcome on world geopolitical conditions but that would obviously have taken much more time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A gift for 2ndWW history buffs.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would refer this book to those individuals who might not not be up to the history of this trial. It is a eye opener in regards to detail.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No favorites here.

Any additional comments?

The Katyn massacre. A pandora's box that was left alone.The British contingent knew full well that it was the Soviet KNVD not Nazi liquidation troops that murdered over 2,000 Polish Nationals. At the very least it took away an opening what might or could have possibly altered the trial dramatically and it's history as we know. The Soviet delegation would have had the wind taken out of their sails and Stalin would have had nightmares for a very long time.

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Amazing book, but hard to listen narrator

I loved the book, but the narrator was a bit difficult to listen though he did improve after a bit.

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  • Kindle Customer Lee Rogers
  • 04-07-13

Old but Unbowed

I first read this book a number of years ago when I was doing some research into post-war retribution in occupied Europe. Unless you wante to wade through the numerous transcripts of the Nuremberg Trials, this book will do the job for you by highlighting the main issues, personalities and dramas of that unique judicial occasion. This is a well-researched and fascinating book which gives the listener an insignt into the confused power play of some seriously flawed criminal characters inhabiting what was, in effect, a lunatic asylum. It also reveals some interesting information on those who participated in the trials from the judges to the prosecutors and the defence lawyers who must have realised that they faced an impossible job. THis is long book but well worth it if you want the unfolding drama of a legal trial with no precedents.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim Conway
  • 04-18-14

Brings horrible history alive

This book is very good. Ann and John Tusa are to be congratulated. I went to Germany at the age of 4 in 1946 for 2 years and can just remember what it was like for a young boy going to an Army school. The Tusa book reminded me of the prevailing atmosphere. My parents often talked of their times there, what it was like mixing with the Americans and other allies, comparing the NAAFI with the PX, etc. Although fraternisation was forbidden we had a German gardener with a son my age and I was soon speaking better German than my parents. In my early teens we returned for a visit with an Army family living in what had been a Nazi officers' barracks, very spacious and elegantly laid-out, and the houses were well-equipped. However, at one end of the barracks was a large underground bunker that had hooks in the ceiling and what looked like ancient blood on the floor. Nearby was Bergen-Belsen with its huge common graves.

The Tusas cover the trial and its build-up in great detail. The various characters (prosecution, defence, accused, witnesses, judiciary) are all brought to life, and the descriptions of the crimes are vivid without being bloodthirsty. The difficulties faced by and the tensions between the four allied powers are almost as interesting as their treatment of the accused, some of whom had incredible lines of defence. Although the end of the trial is known to all, this was still a gripping read. Or maybe it's just that I like lots of detail.

I have one criticism, and that is with Ralph Cosham's delivery: he swallows the last letter or syllable, sometimes the last word, of many sentences. Plurals become bafflingly singular because the 's' cannot be heard. I admit I do nearly all my listening in my car and it may be that Mr Cosham's volume-drop is not so bothersome in a silent ambience. In any case, this is really a minor quibble because Mr Cosham has a mellifluous voice and his delivery is otherwise excellent with an appropriate mid-Atlantic accent.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mendo Shutaro
  • 08-17-13

Overly long, and overly dry

What did you like best about The Nuremberg Trial? What did you like least?

Obviously this covers a fascinating time in history, with some of the most notorious war criminals in history on trial. However the book is overly technical, and far too long. It also seems more interested on covering the conditions in which the inmates were kept, rather than the crimes they committed.

What could Ann Tusa and John Tusa have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

To be frank, the authors desperately needed an editor, or perhaps an editor with more power to tell them what to do. This is simply too long winded to be an entertaining listen.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader sounds pretty sleepy for the most part, which doesn't help the dull nature of much of the text.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Normally I like a film to be as written, with zero changes. In this case though, the source is full of great material which the author ignored, and instead focussed on trivia.

Any additional comments?

There is surely a great book to be written about this period of history. This sadly, isn't it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • p
  • 05-21-16

excellent listen

this is a great in depth listen of the Nuremberg trials,great for any one with an interest in ww2

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 12-02-17

=INCREDIBLE!!

This is an incredible book and beautifully read, From the very beginning a picture is painted of all the players from the lawyers judges and defendants. I have an interest in the law and WWII so I found the detail and descriptions intense. It is 24 hours long, but I could have listened to more. This is so much more than 5 stars its an incredible piece of history.
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  • John
  • 11-20-17

Interesting but drawn out

In parts the book seemed to be little disjointed and ramble on. Also due to the length of it, at times it was easy to lose concentration.
That said, the subject matter is not really to be enjoyed
Overall more of a lesson than a listen
Glad I bought it though

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  • Jose Elan
  • 08-16-17

Cracking narration, the process was fully covered.

let's face it the subject is dry but the narration was very good and the writer obviously researched the subject thoroughly.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-17

it's the trial. In an audiobook.

I don't know how what else would you be looking for if you got this?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-17

Important work

The Nuremberg Trial is not just a great book, beautifully read, it is profound, a fantastically important work. The story of the legal discipline brought to bear on capturing, imprisoning, prosecuting, and delivering sentence on a diverse set of people well known, often publicly boastful, to have been part a spectrum of crimes is deeply revealing. Out of the most desperate crimes ever committed emerges story of redemption for the human race, alas a lesson we seem to keep require relearning. Five stars plus.

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  • Gs Greaves
  • 04-26-17

Highly detailed account. Fantastic.

If you could sum up The Nuremberg Trial in three words, what would they be?

Detailed, Intriguing, important

What other book might you compare The Nuremberg Trial to, and why?

not read anything like this before.

Which character – as performed by Ralph Cosham – was your favourite?

n/a

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yeah it was shocking and helps me understand the world today slightly better. Really makes you think.

Any additional comments?

This must be THE definitive account of the main trial. Would be interested in finding other books on other less famous WW2 trials.