American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman--and the Shoot-out that Stopped It

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Simon and Schuster, 02.11.2005 - 320 Seiten
American Gunfight is the fast-paced, definitive, and breathtakingly suspenseful account of an extraordinary historical event -- the attempted assassination of President Harry Truman in 1950 by two Puerto Rican Nationalists and the bloody shoot-out in the streets of Washington, D.C., that saved the president's life.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Hunter, the widely admired and bestselling novelist and author of such books as Havana, Hot Springs, and Dirty White Boys, and John Bainbridge, Jr., an experienced journalist and lawyer, American Gunfight is at once a groundbreaking work of meticulous historical research and the vivid and dramatically told story of an act of terrorism that almost succeeded. They have pieced together, at last, the story of the conspiracy that nearly doomed the president and how a few good men -- ordinary guys who were willing to risk their lives in the line of duty -- stopped it.
It is a book about courage -- on both sides -- and about what politics and devotion to a cause can lead men to do, and about what actually happens, second by second, when a gunfight explodes.
It begins on November 1, 1950, an unseasonably hot afternoon in the sleepy capital. At 2:00 P.M. in his temporary residence at Blair House, the president of the United States takes a nap. At 2:20 P.M., two men approach Blair House from different directions. Oscar Collazo, a respected metal polisher and family man, and Griselio Torresola, an unemployed salesman, don't look dangerous, not in their new suits and hats, not in their calm, purposeful demeanor, not in their slow, unexcited approach. What the three White House policemen and one Secret Service agent cannot guess is that under each man's coat is a 9mm German automatic pistol and in each head, a dream of assassin's glory.
At point-blank range, Collazo and then Torresola draw and fire and move toward the president of the United States.
Hunter and Bainbridge tell the story of that November day with narrative power and careful attention to detail. They are the first to report on the inner workings of this conspiracy; they examine the forces that led the perpetrators to conceive the plot. The authors also tell the story of the men themselves, from their youth and the worlds in which they grew up to the women they loved and who loved them to the moment the gunfire erupted. Their telling commemorates heroism -- the quiet commitment to duty that in some moments of crisis sees some people through an ordeal, even at the expense of their lives.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

As the authors point out, very few people know that there was a serious assassination attempt against Harry Truman on November 1, 1950, and those that do often confuse it with the Puerto Rican ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

AMERICAN GUNFIGHT: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman--and the Shoot-out That Stopped It

Nutzerbericht  - Kirkus

Journalists Hunter and Bainbridge reconstruct an attempt on Harry Truman's life, an event that "was of course gigantic news—for about a week."The principal actors in the November 1950 attempt were ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Introduction
3
1 A Drive Around Washington
5
2 Griselio Agonistes
12
3 Revolution
18
4 The Odd Couple
36
5 Mr Gonzales and Mr De Silva Go to Washington
40
6 Early Morning
50
7 Baby Starches the Shirts
54
28 Oscar Goes Down
200
29 The Second Assault
203
30 Pimienta
206
31 PointBlank
223
32 The Man Who Loved Guns
228
33 The Dark Visitors
236
34 Mortal Danger
240
35 The Neighbor
243

8 Toad
62
9 The New Guy
74
10 The Buick Guy
83
11 The Guns
86
12 The Ceremony
100
13 Indian Summer
104
14 The Big Walk
109
15 Oscar
113
16 It Did Not Go Off
128
17 Pappy
133
18 The Next Ten Seconds
138
19 Resurrection Man
141
20 So Loud So Fast
152
21 Upstairs at Blair
156
22 Downstairs at Blair
161
23 Borinquen
167
24 Oscar Alone
181
25 The Ends Run
184
26 Good Hands
186
27 The Colossus Rhoads
194
36 American Gunfight
244
37 The Good Samaritan
252
38 The Policemens Wives
258
39 The Scene
260
40 Inside the Soccer Shoe
267
41 Who Shot Oscar?
273
42 The Roundup
278
43 Taps
286
44 Oscar on Trial
289
45 Deep Conspiracy
298
46 Cressie Does Her Duty
308
47 Oscar Speaks
310
48 R I
317
Destinies
323
Source Notes
327
Bibliography
339
Acknowledgments
349
Index
355
Urheberrecht

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite xi - ... the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to try to get it.
Seite 7 - We can and we will prevent espionage, sabotage, or other actions endangering our national security. But we would betray our finest traditions if we attempted, as this bill would attempt, to curb the simple expression of opinion. This we should never do, no matter how distasteful the opinion may be to the vast majority of our people. The course proposed by this bill would delight the Communists, for it would make a mockery of the Bill of Rights and of our claims to stand for freedom in the world.
Seite 6 - Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
Seite 11 - You know I have a valet, four ushers, five butlers, seven or eight secretaries, a dozen or so executive assistants, an assistant president — three of 'em in fact — and I can't open a door, get my hat, pull out my chair at the table, hang up my coat or do anything else for myself— even take a bath! I won't be worth a damn when I come out of here — if I ever do.
Seite 7 - I return herewith, without my approval, HR 9490, the proposed "Internal Security Act of 1950." I am taking this action only after the most serious study and reflection and after consultation with the security and intelligence agencies of the Government. The Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Department of State have all advised me that the bill would seriously damage the security and intelligence operations for which they are responsible.

Über den Autor (2005)

Stephen Hunter has written over twenty novels. The retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, he has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

John Bainbridge, Jr., is a freelance journalist. A former reporter for The Baltimore Sun and legal affairs editor for The Daily Record (Baltimore), he is also a lawyer and former Maryland assistant attorney general. He lives near Butler, Maryland.

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