Aldo Moro's kidnapping and violent death in 1978 shocked Italy as no other event has during the entire history of the Republic. It had much the same effect in Italy as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy had in the United States, with both cases giving rise to endless conspiracy theories. In his thorough account of the long and anguished quest for justice in the Moro murder case, Richard Drake provides a detailed portrait of the tragedy and its aftermath as complex symbols of a turbulent age in Italian history. Since Moro's murder, documents from two parliamentary inquiries and four sets of trials explain the historical and political process and illuminate two enduring themes in Italian history. First, the records contain a wealth of examples bearing on the nation's longstanding culture of ideological extremism and violence. Second, Moro's story reveals much about the inner workings of democracy Italian style, including the roles of the United States and the Mafia.
"...[The] 55 days [of Moro's kidnapping] and Moro's execution mark one of the most complex and fascinating episodes in Italian and, indeed, international postwar political history. Even after four trials, a parliamentary commission, volumes of testimony whose tens of thousands of pages fully rival those of the Kennedy-assassination inquiries, and a host of monographs..., numerous essentials remain obscure or frankly incredible--again, as with J.F.K. And, as with the Warren report, the official judicial findings raise more questions than they answer. This truth has bred a welter of theories, sober, opportunistic, shrewd, and lunatic. Professor Drake's somewhat pedestrian but careful (and caring) reconstruction picks its way through a veritable morass of contradictions and possibilities."
George Steiner, New Yorker, 03/18/1996