Quick Nav

Wallance, Gregory

Gregory Wallance

Gregory J. Wallance is a lawyer and writer in New York City. He is the author of the book Papa’s Game, which received a non-fiction nomination for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the historical novel Two Men Before the Storm about the Dred Scott case (The Boston Globe: “An evocative historical novel.”). He has traveled to countries on several continents on human rights missions for, among others, Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, and is a producer of the HBO film Sakharov, starring Jason Robards and Glenda Jackson. He has written numerous articles and op eds, including for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is quoted frequently in major newspapers, and has appeared as a legal commentator on CNN, Fox News, Court TV, MSNBC, C-SPAN and NBC’s The Today Show.

At the height of World War II, four lawyers in the U.S. Treasury Department discovered that the highly educated, patrician diplomats in the State Department had covered up reports of the Nazi extermination scheme—and then blocked the rescue of 70,000 Romanian Jews forcibly marched into the Nazi-conquered Ukraine and left to die of starvation and disease.

The Treasury lawyers charged the diplomats with being “accomplices of Hitler.” The outrage of the Treasury lawyers—tough-minded New Dealers from Christian, middle-class backgrounds—at the State Department’s complicity in genocide precipitated a titanic intergovernmental battle. The stakes were nothing less than the fates of countless European Jews (symbolized by an orphaned girl’s struggle for survival in Transnistria), the historical reputation of FDR, and the soul of America itself.

Gregory J. Wallance uses rarely cited archival documents, memoirs, diaries, and transcripts to construct this gripping, nonfiction Washington political thriller. With exceptional narrative prowess, he examines the anti-Semitism and extraordinary heartlessness of the wartime State Department, whose behavior is a cautionary tale for world leaders weighing the costs of intervention to stop genocide.

Wallance, a lawyer and human rights activist, is also the author of Two Men Before the Storm, an acclaimed historical novel about the Dred Scott case. The Boston Globe called this work “an impressive mining of historical records.”

October 2005 In the early 1850s, Arba Crane, a young Harvard Law School graduate from Vermont, arrived in St Louis to begin his law career. Working alone late in the evenings, Crane forms a friendship with the office janitor, a slave named Dred Scott. As Scott recounts his life as a slave, Crane realizes that Scott has a legal claim to freedom and persuades him to file a lawsuit. Thus begins a chain of events that ignites a political and legal firestorm across the nation. Crane fights for Scott's rights for years. The case reaches the US Supreme Court before a spellbound country. But the Court's catastrophic decision in Scott v. Sandford holds that slaves are property without rights and that Congress has no power to halt the spread of slavery. While the decision marks the beginning of the path to civil war, it is not the end of Dred Scott's quest for freedom. Two Men Before the Storm: Arba Crane's Recollection of Dred Scott and the Supreme Court Case That Started the Civil War is based on historical events: the profound friendship between a young lawyer and a slave and a fight for justice that fundamentally changed our nation. A work of historical fiction (with detailed historical endnotes), it is especially timely as we approach a new political battle over nominees to the Supreme Court. Gregory Wallance is a prominent lawyer in New York City. He is the author of the acclaimed Papa's Game, a finalist for the Edgar Allen Poe award.

© 2014 Greenleaf Book Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use