The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice

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9780316734967: The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice

One hundred years ago, in July 1916, an act of terrorism in New York Harbor changed the world.

"A gripping account of conspiracy."--New York Times

"A ready-made suspense thriller."--Boston Globe

"Exhaustively researched... fascinating."--Entertainment Weekly, 50 Hot Summer Books

The attack in New York Harbor was so explosive that people as far away as Maryland felt the ground shake. Windows were blown out uptown at the New York Public Library; the main building at Ellis Island was nearly destroyed; Statue of Liberty was torn into by shrapnel from the explosion, which would have measured 5.5 on the Richter scale. Chaos overtook Manhattan as the midnight sky turned to fire, lit up with exploding ammunition.

The year was 1916. And it had been shockingly easy.

While war raged in Europe, Americans watched from afar, unthreatened by the danger overseas. Yet the United States was riddled with networks of German spies hiding in plain sight. The attack on New York Harbor was only one part of their plans: secret anthrax facilities were located just ten miles from the White House; bombs were planted on ships, hidden in buildings, and mailed to the country's civic and business leaders; and an underground syndicate helped potential terrorists obtain fake IDs, housing, and money. President Woodrow Wilson knew an attack of this magnitude was possible, and yet nothing was done to stop it. Americans, feeling buffered by miles of ocean and burgeoning prosperity, had ignored the mounting threat.

That all changed on a warm summer evening in late July, when the island in New York Harbor called Black Tom exploded, setting alight a vast store of munitions destined for the front.

Three American lawyers--John McCloy, Amos Peaslee, and Harold Martin--made it their mission to solve the Black Tom mystery. Their hunt for justice would take them undercover to Europe, deep into the shadowy world of secret agents and double-crosses, through the halls of Washington and the capitals of Europe. It would challenge their beliefs in right and wrong. And they would discover a sinister plot so vast it could hardly have been imagined--a conspiracy that stretched from downtown Manhattan to the very heart of Berlin.

The Detonators is the first full accounting of a crime and a cover-up that resonate strongly in a post-9/11 America. And much of the atmosphere and rhetoric in play 100 years ago remains eerily similar to discussions surrounding national security and immigration today. As Millman deftly illustrates in THE DETONATORS, an island may have disappeared, but the resulting lessons have only grown stronger and more urgent, and history has a persistent way of stirring up its ghosts.

This is their story.

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About the Author:

Chad Millman is the Editorial Director of ESPN Domestic Digital. He is the author of The Odds and coauthor of The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, Iceman, Invincible, and Pickup Artists. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two sons.

From AudioFile:

The man-made explosions at Black Tom Island in New York Harbor lasted a few minutes, but the messy international repercussions lasted more than 20 years. Lloyd James reads a true account from WW I, in which German agents destroy an American ammunition dump. Legal battles between the U.S. and Germany inspire a fascinating story of the men involved and the quest for repayment. James has a taciturn voice, and he punctuates the quotes with pleasant pauses. His leisure produces an engaging story for those who enjoy history. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Book Description Little, Brown and Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 352 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 1.3in.Twenty years after blowing up Black Tom Island in the New York Harbor, the German government had still evaded responsibility for the crime. Three lawyers made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780316734967

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Book Description Little, Brown Company, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In 1916 a group of German saboteurs blew up Black Tom Island, a spit of land in New York Harbour. The brazen attack destroyed the harbour and the ammunition housed there - and the subsequent hail of missiles and gunpowder devastated much of lower Manhattan. The attack - so massive that as far away as Maryland people could feel the ground shake - had been shockingly easy. America was littered with networks of German agents plotting further, more deadly, attacks. Twenty years later the German government had still managed to evade responsibility for the crime - and probably would have continued to, were it not for the determination of three lawyers named McCloy, Peaslee, and Martin. These men made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second. They were litigators, spies, historians and, ultimately, defenders of the truth. THE DETONATORS is a fascinating portrait of these men and their time; the dramatic love story of John and Ellen McCloy; and the first full accounting of a crime and a cover-up that resonates strongly in a post-9/11 America. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780316734967

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