Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror

Front Cover
Other Press, 2008 - Law - 380 pages
1 Review
American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award — Winner in the Book category
Independent Publishers — Winner of the Gold Medal in the Autobiography/Memoir category
ForeWord Book of the Year Awards — Winner of the Bronze Medal in the Social Science category
The Eric Hoffer Award - Winner in the Memoir category

A public defender' s dedicated struggle to rescue two innocent men from the recent Kafkaesque practices of our vandalized justice system

“Our government can make you disappear.” Those were the words Steven Wax never imagined he would hear himself say. In his twenty-nine years as a public defender, Wax had never had to warn a client that he or she might be taken away to a military brig, or worse, a “black site,” one of our country's dreaded secret prisons. How had our country come to this? The disappearance of people happens in places ruled by tyrants, military juntas, fascist strongmen—governments with such contempt for the rule of law that they strip their citizens of all rights. But in America?

Under the current Bush administration, not only are the civil rights of foreigners in jeopardy, but those of U.S. citizens. Wax interweaves the stories of two men that he and his team represented: Brandon Mayfield, an American-born small town lawyer and family man, arrested as a suspected terrorist in the Madrid train station bombings after a fingerprint was incorrectly traced back to him by the FBI; and Adel Hamad, a Sudanese hospital administrator taken from his apartment to a Pakistani prison and then flown in chains to the United States military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Kafka Comes to America reveals where and how our civil liberties have been eroded for a false security, and how each of us can make a difference. If these events could happen to Brandon Mayfield and Adel Hamad, they can happen to anyone. It could happen to us. It could happen to you.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

KAFKA COMES TO AMERICA: Fighting For Justice in the War on Terror

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Oregon Federal Public Defender Wax describes the obstacles faced by lawyers representing people accused of terrorist activities.Those interested in an inside account of how attorneys represent ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marywhisner - LibraryThing

In Kafka Comes to America, Steven T. Wax -- the long-time Federal Public Defender for Oregon -- recounts his experience representing two clients, Brandon Mayfield and Adel Hamad. Mayfield was a ... Read full review


Prologue l
Footprints in the Carpet
Portland Lawyer Arrested

25 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Steven Wax

Steven Wax is in his sixth term as the Federal Public Defender for the District of Oregon. A cum laude graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Law School, he was a key part of the Brooklyn, N.Y. District Attorney's prosecution of David Berkowitz, a.k.a."The Son of Sam." Wax and his team are currently representing seven men held as "enemy combatants"; in Guantanamo. He has taught at the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, serves as an ethics prosecutor for the Oregon State Bar, and lectures throughout the country.

Bibliographic information