The best books including true stories with meaning and power

Maurice Possley Author Of Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith
By Maurice Possley

Who am I?

I am a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has worked for the past 10 years as the senior researcher for the National Registry of Exonerations. In that capacity, I have written nearly 2,500 individual accounts of men and women and teenagers who were wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. Some of them were sentenced to death. I have seen and written about these tragedies firsthand.


I wrote...

Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith

By John D. Woodbridge, Maurice Possley,

Book cover of Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith

What is my book about?

Hitler in the Crosshairs is a true story of a courageous soldier who volunteered to lead a raid to take out Adolf Hitler in Munich in the closing days of World War II. It is also the true story of a German-led revolt against the Nazis that saved the city of Munich from the firestorm that destroyed Dresden.

The books I picked & why

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Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois

By George H. Ryan,

Book cover of Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois

Why this book?

This is the true first person account of Illinois Governor George Ryan’s courageous and unprecedented decision to suspend the death penalty and empty death row in 2003. He oversaw the state’s last execution, an experience that was seared in his brain. In 2000, he became the first governor (and a Republican at that) to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. I was there as a journalist and I helped him write this powerful memoir.

Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois

By George H. Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Until I Could Be Sure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In January 2000, Illinois Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions-the first such action by any governor in the history of the United States.

Despite a long history as a death penalty proponent, Ryan was emotionally moved after allowing an execution in 1999. He was also profoundly disturbed by the state's history-12 men had been executed and 13 had been exonerated since the return of the death penalty in Illinois in 1977. More had been proven innocent than had been executed.

Three years later, in 2003, Ryan pardoned four death row inmates based on their actual innocence and then…

Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

By Phoebe Zerwick,

Book cover of Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

Why this book?

Phoebe Zerwick has written an evocative account of the disturbing wrongful conviction and ultimate tragedy of Darryl Hunt in North Carolina. I personally know Phoebe and I am familiar with the story. It is a riveting account of how the criminal justice system can and does go awry with deadly consequences.

Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt

By Phoebe Zerwick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Innocence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Reporter: A Memoir

By Seymour M. Hersh,

Book cover of Reporter: A Memoir

Why this book?

Seymour Hersh is one of the journalistic giants of the last century. His reporting has exposed wrongs all over the globe—from Viet Nam to the Middle East to Washington, D.C. The book contains previously unreported details on an array of stories, including the My Lai massacre and the torture at Abu Ghraib. Must reading for journalists and anyone interested in history.

Reporter: A Memoir

By Seymour M. Hersh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reporter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Reporter is just wonderful. Truly a great life, and what shines out of the book, amid the low cunning and tireless legwork, is Hersh's warmth and humanity. Essential reading for every journalist and aspiring journalist the world over' John le Carre

In the early 1950s, teenage Seymour Hersh was finishing high school and university - while running the family's struggling dry cleaning store in a Southside Chicago ghetto. Today, he is one of America's premier investigative journalists, whose fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page bylines in virtually every newspaper in the world, a staggering collection of awards, and no…


Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

By M. Chris Fabricant,

Book cover of Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

Why this book?

Chris Fabricant has written a compelling account of how the “junk science” of connecting bitemarks to human teeth has resulted in dozens of wrongful convictions of innocent people in America. I have known Chris for many years. He is a fierce advocate for truth and justice. This book powerfully exposes how forensic dentists have used methods with no scientific basis to convict the wrong people and the guilty people went free.

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

By M. Chris Fabricant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

By Bryan Stevenson,

Book cover of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Why this book?

Bryan Stevenson’s memoir documents his life devoted to righting wrongs in the American criminal justice system. He has saved innocent people from being executed. He has created the only living museum that chronicles lynchings in America. This is a powerful account of Stevenson’s awakening to miscarriages of justice at a time when mass incarceration began to overtake the United States. I have known Bryan for more than two decades. He is perhaps one of the most dedicated persons in the nation when it comes to correcting injustice.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

By Bryan Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Just Mercy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN, JAMIE FOXX, AND BRIE LARSON.

A NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, ESQUIRE, AND TIME BOOK OF THE YEAR.

A #1 New York Times bestseller, this is a powerful, true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America's broken justice system, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice.

The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. One in every 15 people born there today is expected to go to prison. For black men this figure rises to one…


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Interested in criminal justice, miscarriages of justices, and Henry Kissinger?

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