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Conrad Black memoir due this fall

After several years of delays, the newly re-sentenced Conrad Black is ready to publish his memoir chronicling (among other things) his prison years. And if you take Lord Black at his hyperbolic word, readers should expect nothing short of an epic confrontation with the U.S. justice system.

Black’s publisher, McClelland & Stewart, confirmed today that A Matter of Principle “ originally scheduled for publication in October 2008 and later pushed back to spring 2009, when Black was serving time at a federal prison in Florida “ will appear sometime this fall.

According to the official press release, the book, which covers the years from 1993 to 2011, chronicles Black’s downfall as the head of Hollinger International, and his subsequent trial and imprisonment. The memoir also “weaves together Black’s very personal views on a number of big themes ranging from politics to corporate governance to the U.S. justice system.”

In an interview earlier this week with The Toronto Star, Black put it more bluntly, telling columnist Mitch Potter that he plans to launch an all-out attack on those responsible for his unjust imprisonment. “I urge you not to game this prematurely, Black wrote in an e-mail. Some victims of this awful system are harder to grind to powder than others. They (U.S. prosecutors) had their chance ” they opened demanding life and impoverishment and got three years and $435,000. And now it’s my turn.

Black went on to describe the memoir in martial terms. From the Star:

This is a war, and wars don’t end until the fight stops, Black, 66, told the Star….

We are moving to a battlefield that is a much more level battlefield than an American criminal court, where the government almost always wins, and not with a fig leaf of fake, retrieved counts, as in this case.

The former Hollinger International press baron described his initial 29 months at Florida’s Coleman Correctional Complex as interesting and fulfilling.

The Star notes that Black, who has already spent 29 months in jail and must return for another eight- to 13-month stint, will be in the slammer when the book is launched. Lucky for him, he has plenty of experience using Margaret Atwood’s LongPen.