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The International Law of Occupation By Eyal Benvenisti Princeton University Press/$16.95 Eyal Benvenisti, a law professor at Tel Aviv University, examines the history of the international law of occupation and the conduct of several occupying powers of the 20th century — from the Allied occupations during World War II to the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. In the book’s preface, new to the paperback edition, Benvenisti focuses on issues arising from the U.S. and U.K. occupation of Iraq. In doing so, he questions the legitimacy of these occupying forces according to international law. Additionally, he formulates a contemporary theory of the law of occupation. The book is a well-researched scholarly text, by no means a quick read. — The American Lawyer

In The Interest of Justice Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years By Joel J. Seidemann ReganBooks/$27.95 Joel J. Seidemann, an assistant district attorney in New York, compiled some of the best arguments from the most well-known cases of the century. The format is straightforward: Seidemann sandwiches excerpts of opening and closing arguments between an introduction, which establishes the case in its historical context, and a postscript. In the book’s introduction, Seidemann explains that the cases are united by an “ineffable feeling of transcendence,” a reverence for the art of courtroom persuasion that the author expresses throughout the book. From Johnny Cochran’s performance in the O.J. Simpson case (“If [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit”) to Marv Albert’s humiliating bedroom secrets, to the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton, Seidemann’s book is part cultural retrospective, part greatest hits of courtroom performances. — The American Lawyer

Judging ThomasThe Life and Times of Clarence Thomas By Ken Foskett William Morrow/$24.95 Ken Foskett, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, searches Clarence Thomas’ past for factors that influence his current ideology. To understand the judge’s rejection of welfare programs and government intervention, Foskett looks at Thomas’ childhood in Savannah, where he was raised by a stern grandfather who encouraged self-sufficiency. Foskett traces Thomas’ absolutism about good and evil to his study of Catholicism — in high school and during a stint at a seminary. He attributes Thomas’ opposition to affirmative action to his experience with segregation, which lasted until he was 16. But even with this comprehensive exploration, the judge remains an enigma. He is, among other contradictions, a man who benefited from affirmative action, but vehemently rejects the notion now. In his lively, readable narrative, Foskett concedes that no amount of deconstruction can fully explain one of the high court’s most compelling and controversial justices. — The American Lawyer

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