Crimes of War

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Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know
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Author Roy Gutman, David Rieff
Country United States
Language English
Subject Human Rights
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Publication date

July 12, 1999;

revised (2.0) 2007
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 352 pp
ISBN 0-393-04746-6 (Hardback)
ISBN 0-393-31914-8 (Paperback)
ISBN 0-393-32846-5 (2.0, 2007)
OCLC 40499774
341.6/9 21
LC Class K5301 .C75 1999

Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know is a 1999 reference book edited by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Roy Gutman and David Rieff that offers a compendium of more than 150 entries of articles and photographs that broadly define "international humanitarian law", a subject that involves most of the legal and political aspects of modern conflict.

The book, published by W.W. Norton, has received international acclaim from human rights experts. The 352-page book contains 80 photographs, two maps and extensive sources.

In this A-to-Z guide, journalists, television reporters and photographers, together with leading legal scholars and military law experts, define the major war crimes and key terms of law and take a fresh look at nine recent wars using the framework of international humanitarian law.

Contributors include nine Pulitzer Prize winning reporters, recipients of Britain's most prestigious journalism prizes and award-winning photojournalists. Sydney Schanberg, William Shawcross, Justice Richard Goldstone and Christiane Amanpour are among those included, with a foreword by Justice Richard Goldstone, the UN Tribunal's first prosecutor. Photographers include Gilles Peres and Annie Leibovitz.

Actress Angelina Jolie was photographed reading the book while filming in India. Crimes of War is also reported to have made it to former President of the United States Bill Clinton's desk in the Oval Office.

The book is part of a comprehensive project started by Roy Gutman which includes educational initiatives and additional articles. It has been published in 11 languages, including Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Chinese. A revised edition (2.0) with updated articles was published in October 2007 by W.W. Norton.


  • "Crimes of War is fascinating and quite probably indispensable for anyone whose job it is to cover conflicts." --The Evening Standard
  • "A riveting mixture of reporters' accounts of war crimes in every continent, coupled with essays by lawyers on international humanitarian law." --The Guardian

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