AMERICAN GUNFIGHT by Stephen Hunter - SIGNED FIRST EDITION BOOKSee all titles by Stephen Hunter.
American Gunfight is the fast-paced, definitive, and
breathtakingly suspenseful account of an extraordinary historical event
-- the attempted assassination of President Harry Truman in 1950 by two
Puerto Rican Nationalists and the bloody shoot-out in the streets of
Washington, D.C., that saved the president's life.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Hunter, the widely admired and bestselling novelist and author of such books as Havana, Hot Springs, and Dirty White Boys, and John Bainbridge, Jr., an experienced journalist and lawyer, American Gunfight
is at once a groundbreaking work of meticulous historical research and
the vivid and dramatically told story of an act of terrorism that
almost succeeded. They have pieced together, at last, the story of the
conspiracy that nearly doomed the president and how a few good men --
ordinary guys who were willing to risk their lives in the line of duty
-- stopped it.
It is a book about courage -- on both sides -- and
about what politics and devotion to a cause can lead men to do, and
about what actually happens, second by second, when a gunfight
It begins on November 1, 1950, an unseasonably hot
afternoon in the sleepy capital. At 2:00 P.M. in his temporary
residence at Blair House, the president of the United States takes a
nap. At 2:20 P.M., two men approach Blair House from different
directions. Oscar Collazo, a respected metal polisher and family man,
and Griselio Torresola, an unemployed salesman, don't look dangerous,
not in their new suits and hats, not in their calm, purposeful
demeanor, not in their slow, unexcited approach. What the three White
House policemen and one Secret Service agent cannot guess is that under
each man's coat is a 9mm German automatic pistol and in each head, a
dream of assassin's glory.
At point-blank range, Collazo and then Torresola draw and fire and move toward the president of the United States.
and Bainbridge tell the story of that November day with narrative power
and careful attention to detail. They are the first to report on the
inner workings of this conspiracy; they examine the forces that led the
perpetrators to conceive the plot. The authors also tell the story of
the men themselves, from their youth and the worlds in which they grew
up to the women they loved and who loved them to the moment the gunfire
erupted. Their telling commemorates heroism -- the quiet commitment to
duty that in some moments of crisis sees some people through an ordeal,
even at the expense of their lives.