The Book of Assassins: A Biographical Dictionary From Ancient Times To The Present

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9780785821816: The Book of Assassins: A Biographical Dictionary From Ancient Times To The Present

Until now, there has been no single source for the life stories of assassins in various eras and cultures: the infamous ones and the surprisingly forgotten, the ideologues and the zealots, the sociopaths and the mercenary killers. A Biographical Dictionary of the World's Assassins fills this gap for the benefit of the true-crime fans, the historian, the student and the general reader alike. We all know the names Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. But who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, igniting the First World War? What wealthy aristocrat killed Rasputin and lived on until 1967? How many different people attempted to assassinate Hitler - or Queen Victoria? Which modern world leader holds the record for escaping assassins' plots - and, more to the point, who were the plotters? How have assassins in Japan, say, differed from those in the United States? What assassins have been produced by such famously peace-loving societies as Canada and Australia? Providing answers to these questions and many more, this is a work in which to browse or to read from cover to cover, whether as a refreshingly new take on history and politics or as a psychological portrait of the assassin personality. It is much more than a ready-reference, and has no political subtext. Rather, it is a collection of biographical stories, a few well-known but most obscure, dealing with individual assassins from the ancient world to the present day. Researched with care and told with style and insight, A Biographical Dictionary of the World's Assassins is a complete chronicle of some of the most influential crimes in history.

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From the Back Cover:

“...you can have quite a lot of fun with A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins. A sort of Assassination for Dummies, it’s a great little reference book of potted biographies of assassins from all eras and ports of call....There’s even a handy index of victims...A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins is a goldmine for trivia buffs.” —Toronto Star

“This handy collection of patriots, madmen and killers...is a welcome addition for a crime writer. This is no ordinary compendium of rogues, footpads and murderers. An assassin is the aristocrat of killers; an assassin is the killer of aritocrats and celebrities...Fetherling’s A Biographical Dictionary of Assassins is a useful, often amusing, usually reliable addition to the field of criminology, while being at the same time a ready aid to the general reader who enjoys a romp through history following a new unifying theme.” —Howard Engel, Globe and Mail

“We all know the names Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. But who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, igniting the First World War? So asks George Fetherling in A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins.” —National Post

“Fascinating...Entertaining and provocative. Some fo the crimes he details are simply heinous, while others beg the question: at what point does the defence of liberty justify murder?” —Georgia Straight

Assassins is well researched, readable and interesting.” —Vancouver Sun

“The book is made for browsing. A reader can learn not only about the momentous political assassinations in history, but also about the stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles by a deranged fan of her rival...or the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by an American serial killer.” —Edmonton Journal

About the Author:

The author has written fifty books and is a former literary editor of the Toronto Star and regular columnist and book reviewer. He lives in Vancouver.

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George Fetherling
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