Most of the problems a President has to face have their roots in the past… Harry S. Truman


American gunfight : the plot to kill Harry Truman, and the shoot-out that stopped it  Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge, Jr.  New York : Simon & Schuster, c 2005  Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. ix, 368 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. Dust Jacket. Includes bibliographical references (p. 339-348) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG


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.


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 metal polisher and  Griselio Torresola, an unemployed salesman. They 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.


Hunter and Bainbridge tell the story of that November day with 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.


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