Lawrence Douglas

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Lawrence Douglas
Occupation law professor
Nationality American
Alma mater Brown University,
Yale Law School
Genres non-fiction; novel

Lawrence Douglas is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.[1]


He is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale Law School.

Douglas is the author of works of both nonfiction and fiction. His nonfiction has focused on legal responses to state-sponsored atrocity. The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (Yale, 2001) examined the Nuremberg, Eichmann, Barbie and Zundel (Holocaust denial) trials as examples of what Douglas calls “didactic legality”: using criminal trials as tools of historical instruction and memory construction. His most recent book, The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial (Princeton, 2016), chronicles the lengthiest case ever to arise from the Holocaust and one of the most famous cases of mistaken identity in legal history.

His two novels have focused on the question of Jewish identity. The Catastrophist was named a best book of 2006 by Kirkus and received the 2006 Silver Prize in General Fiction at the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards. The Vices was named a best book of 2011 by New York Magazine and the New Statesmen, and was a finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award. He has published two books of humor, Nonsensibility Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Learning and Literature, a collection of short sketches parodying the contemporary life of the mind written with his Amherst colleague, Alexander George; and The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, a parody of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy that he wrote under the pseudonym Lars Arffssen. Douglas is a regular reviewer of books on legal topics for the Times Literary Supplement.[2]

Douglas is the recipient of major fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Institute for International Education. He has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of London and at Humboldt Universität, Berlin, and is on the board of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.




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