Assassination: The Politics of Murder

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9780737301328: Assassination: The Politics of Murder
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Chronological almanac of assassinations from the slaying of king David to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister. Each entry lists the target, the assassins, the historical context, failed attempts, the events, the investigation and the trial as well as its import and effect through history.

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Laucella, a former editor and employee in the Ohio governor's office, here surveys, case by celebrated case, the political killings that have punctuated the period from 990 B.C.E. to 1995. Crime references of more general wrongdoing, such as Jay Robert Nash's classic Bloodletters & Badmen (LJ 5/1/73), can make for excellent browsing as they mix grisly murders with train-robbing adventures and confidence schemes. The present volume is a more dispiriting read whose sections on remoter assassinations often seem more solid than the chapters on recent familiar murders. Part of Laucella's interest in reviewing history's "most fascinating assassination plots" seems to be in entertaining alternative scenarios. In the cases of Huey Long, John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Yitzak Rabin, and the 1972 attempt on George Wallace, Laucella leaves the door open for various unproven conspiracies, often relying on dubious sources like Jim Garrison's On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), which inspired Oliver Stone's JFK. An ambitious but disappointing book that does not supplant previous efforts such as Harris Lentz III's Assassinations and Executions: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence, 1865-1986 (McFarland, 1988). Not an essential purchase.ANathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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