Political Crime

Rawhide Down
Del Quentin Wilber
One of my favorite things about reading recent history books is knowing I lived through the time and being able to recognize the events.  Rawhide Down is no different.  Del Quentin Wilber does a fantastic job reconstructing the events leading up to and after the attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan.  Wilber goes into great detail with John Hinckley’s planned trip to DC.  This was  one finely written book for anyone interested in knowing what happened during and immediately following the assassination attempt.  A meticulously researched book.

The Bureau and the Mole
David A. Vise
It began in 1979 when trusted FBI Agent Robert Hanssen started trading secrets to the Soviets.  Over the course of many years, Hanssen went undetected to become the person who divulged more security data than any other spy in history.  The book delves deep into Hanssen’s youth and the author while not excusing Hanssen’s treachery, at least gave us a reason why he did what he did.

What’s so amazing to me is the fact that he lived a double life for so long without being caught.  This is another highly readable book and one that should be read by anyone wanting an inside glimpse of someone who so successfully lived two lives for so long while being in law enforcement as well.

There is a movie based on the book called Breach.  One of the things that was missing from the movie was the backstory of Hanssen which I was sorry wasn’t included because it leant credence to why he did what he did.

American Gunfight:
The plot to kill Harry Truman, and the shootout that stopped it
Stephen Hunter
Being such a history aficionado, I was surprised I didn’t know anything about the attempted assassination of President Truman.  And there REALLY was a gunfight on the streets of Washington DC.  The gunfight lasted all of about thirty five seconds, less than a minute.  However in that time span, one police officer was hit in both knees.  (He recovered).  Another officer was shot three times.  Truman remained unharmed.

Two Puerto Rican Nationalists carried out the attempt, likely knowing it wouldn’t succeed.  Back story once again is what carried this book forward for me.  We learn quite a bit about what motivated these two people to attempt the assassination.  A very readable book, American Gunfight, held me in thrall until the last page.

Until next time, turn the page

Chris

Political Crime

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