592 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.76 in
August 31, 2011
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771016700
ISBN - 13: 9780771016707
Read from the Book
March 2010: Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, Florida I sleep in a cubicle that shares a ceiling with sixty other identical spaces, rather like partitions in an office, except that these are painted cinder block and there are no potted plants. At 10:30 p.m., the ceiling lights placed every twenty feet or so go out. The residents turn out their cubicle lights, leaving only an overhead row of red, dimly lit panels, pierced here and there by the beam of portable reading lamps, which enable the readers among us to escape into books, letters, newspapers, snapshots, and tokens and reminders of the world beyond the gates. In the morning, daylight creeps past the condensation generated by the confrontation between the Florida heat and the fierce air conditioning of the Federal Bureau of Prisons into the outside cubicles through narrow rectangular windows grudgingly set in the concrete walls. Here, we concern ourselves with how many postage stamps (the local currency) are needed to buy an extra notepad. We see and hear the talking heads on television in the activities room or, in my case, read in the newspapers of the steady failures or crises of great institutions: AIG, General Motors, Citigroup, the State of California, the New York Times, the Harvard University Endowment. How could this country have become so incompetent, so stupid, and why was this debacle so unforeseen? The pundits have the usual uninformed answers, not greatly more well thought out, and less entertaining, th
From the Publisher
"I never ask for mercy and seek no one's sympathy. I would never, as was once needlessly feared in this court, be a fugitive from justice in this country, only a seeker of it."
—Conrad Black, in his statement to the court, June 24, 2011
In 1993, Conrad Black was the proprietor of London's Daily Telegraph and the head of one of the world's largest newspaper groups. He completed a memoir in 1992, A Life in Progress, and "great prospects beckoned." In 2004, he was fired as chairman of Hollinger International after he and his associates were accused of fraud. Here, for the first time, Black describes his indictment, four-month trial in Chicago, partial conviction, imprisonment, and largely successful appeal.
In this unflinchingly revealing and superbly written memoir, Black writes without reserve about the prosecutors who mounted a campaign to destroy him and the journalists who presumed he was guilty. Fascinating people fill these pages, from prime ministers and presidents to the social, legal, and media elite, among them: Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Jean Chrétien, Rupert Murdoch, Izzy Asper, Richard Perle, Norman Podhoretz, Eddie Greenspan, Alan Dershowitz, and Henry Kissinger.
Woven throughout are Black's views on big themes: politics, corporate governance, and the U.S. justice system. He is candid about highly personal subjects, including his friendships - with those who have supported and those who have betrayed him - his Roman Catholic faith, and his marriage to Barbara Amiel. And he writes about his complex relations with Canada, Great Britain, and the United States, and in particular the blow he has suffered at the hands of that nation.
In this extraordinary book, Black maintains his innocence and recounts what he describes as "the fight of and for my life." A Matter of Principle is a riveting memoir and a scathing account of a flawed justice system.
From the Jacket
Praise for the bestselling The Invincible Quest:
“Splendid, epic, enthralling.”
— Daily Telegraph
“A rollicking read…. [Black] has a rare talent for serious history, and the talent to tell it well.”
— The Guardian
“A literary tour-de-force. . . . Stunningly researched and evocatively written.”
“A vibrant narrative…. an important and worthy addition to the literature.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Conrad Black is the author of critically acclaimed biographies of Maurice Duplessis, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. The former head of the Argus and Hollinger corporate groups and of London's Telegraph newspapers, Black is also the founder of Canada's National Post. For some years he has been a columnist there and at the National Review Online (New York). Black has been a member of the British House of Lords since 2001.
In 2005, Black was accused of a total of 17 charges of criminal corporate misconduct in the United States, and prosecutors sought life imprisonment and fines and restitution totalling $140 million. After six years, all the charges were either abandoned, rejected by jurors, or in the case of four convictions, vacated unanimously by the United States Supreme Court. On the original convictions, he was sentenced to imprisonment for 78 months and restitution of $6.1 million. After 29 months in federal prison, he was released on bail, but the appellate panel whose findings had been vacated by the high court restored two counts when the case was remanded back to it. On June 24, 2011, Black was resentenced to a further seven and a half months in prison, which he is serving at time of publication, and 90 per cent of his fine was restored to him. Conrad Black has never ceased to assert his innocence.
"...Authorative and highly readable...."
—Andrew Roberts, The Daily Beast
"An enthralling work."
"A gripping account."