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"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.

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A Matter of Principle
Average rating
5 / 5
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January 2nd, 2014
While CB relentlessly - and accurately - portraits an American society shredded by a ruling class who would happily sacrifice their country's blood and treasure for the perceived greater good of perpetuating or initiating their own access to the higher echelons of power, wealth and society he appears unable to hide the toll his ordeal has taken on his personality. Within the 900 pages of this book a proud and exceedingly capable man turns from fighting his adversaries to battling the rising bile of his own bitterness. This is a book of high crime, Machiavellian treachery, contemporary history and deep personal tragedy. Enlightening, educational, moving.
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