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East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity"

East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity"

By Philippe Sands

Winner of the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction

“A rare and unusual event: a book about international law that makes you want to keep reading.” —Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair

“A monumental achievement . . . a profoundly personal account of the origins of crimes against humanity and genocide, told with love, anger and precision.” —John le Carré

“Sands is a fine writer and sets his scenes so compellingly and earnestly that his enterprise succeeds . . . Engrossing, luminous and moving.” —Samuel Moyn, The Wall Street Journal

A profound and profoundly important book—a moving personal detective story, an uncovering of secret pasts, and a book that explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich.

East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity,” both of whom, not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professors, in a city little known today that was a major cultural center of Europe, “the little Paris of Ukraine,” a city variously called Lemberg, Lwów, Lvov, or Lviv. It is also a spellbinding family memoir, as the author traces the mysterious story of his grandfather, as he maneuvered through Europe in the face of Nazi atrocities.

East West Street is a book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder.

Paperback
464 pages
Vintage Books, 2017
6 x 9 inches
ISBN 9780525433729
History, Politics

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