This comprehensive treatment of post–World War II Allied war crimes trials in the Far East is a significant contribution to a neglected subject. While the Nuremberg and, to a lesser degree, Tokyo tribunals have received considerable attention, this is the first full-length assessment of the entire Far East operation, which involved some 5,700 accused and 2,200 trials.
After discussing the Tokyo trial, Piccigallo systematically examines the operations of each Allied nation, documenting procedure and machinery as well as the details of actual trials (including hitherto unpublished photographs) and ending with a statistical summary of cases.
This study allows a completely new assessment of the Far East proceedings: with a few exceptions, the trials were carefully and fairly conducted, the efforts of defense counsel and the elaborate review procedures being especially noteworthy. Piccigallo’s approach to this emotion-filled subject is straightforward and evenhanded throughout. He concludes with a discussion of the broader implications of such war crimes trials, a matter of interest to the general reader as well as to specialists in history, law, and international affairs.