The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis

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9780743200554: The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis
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An account of America's first modern hostage crisis at the beginning of the twentieth century describes the experiences of Christian missionary Ellen Stone and her pregnant Bulgarian companion, the agendas of their Macedonian insurgent captors, and the efforts of American and other diplomats to resolve the crisis. 50,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Teresa Carpenter is a former senior editor of The Village Voice, where her articles on crime and the law won a Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of three books, including the bestselling Missing Beauty. She lives in New York's Greenwich Village with her husband, Newsweek columnist Steven Levy, and their son.

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Zooming in on a historical footnote, the kidnapping of an American missionary by Macedonian revolutionaries in 1901, Carpenter discovers a Byronic adventure and an early lesson in the perils of international power for the U.S. Ellen Stone was a committed evangelical missionary and an indomitable adventurer who became, says Carpenter, "a law unto herself" in the unstable and newly autonomous Bulgaria, which Carpenter describes as "a nominal Ottoman principality, an American-style democracy, and a Russian client state." In Macedonia, ethnic Bulgarians still ruled by Turks formed a guerrilla resistance, partly financed by brigandage. A rogue band of these revolutionaries seized Stone and another hostage, a local Protestant convert, who was five months pregnant. American involvement was delayed by William McKinley's assassination, just days after the abduction. But Stone's predicament naturally lent itself to sensational media coverage and soon became a cause c‚lŠbre, prompting a fund-raising drive to collect the hefty ransom demanded by her captors. With America's limited diplomatic presence in the Balkans, the tangled political agendas of the regional leaders, and the secrecy of the Macedonian guerrillas, the negotiations involved murky, back-channel dealings and hidden subtexts, which Carpenter skillfully delineates. Carpenter-a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, former senior editor of the Village Voice, and author of Mob Girl-might have deepened her exploration of the historical issues at stake: the consequences of Ottoman decline and American ascendance. She might even have indulged the melodramatic potential of the tale more. Still, it's a gripping yarn, even in her straightforward account. Photos, map.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780743258050: The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis

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ISBN 10:  0743258053 ISBN 13:  9780743258050
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2004
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