The Trial: A History

by Sadakat Kadri

January 30th, 2009

This is a popular history of the concept of the trial as a social process. It illustrates its points with a few showcase trials, but most of its content is about trials as a phenomenon. I found it unilluminating, largely because I'm already familiar with most of the material. I'm sure that other people could derive plenty of benefit from it, but for me in my current state of education, it wasn't useful. I did derive one interesting tidbit from it:

...kings and royal officials would issue no more than eighty-one torture warrants over the entire course of England's history.

It would seem that we Americans have exceeded in just a few years what it took the English eight centuries to accomplish.