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The Detonators 1st Editionby Chad Millman
Synopses & Reviews
A tale of terrorism, espionage, and an epic struggle for justice in an America on the verge--sparked by a massive and mysterious explosion in New York Harbor in 1916.
In 1916, while the Allied and Central forces waged war in Europe, a group of German saboteurs blew up Black Tom Island, a spit of land in New York Harbor within earshot of downtown Manhattan. The subsequent hail of missiles and gunpowder devastated much of lower Manhattan. The attack--so massive that as far away as Maryland people could feel the ground shake--had been shockingly easy. America was littered with networks of German agents, hiding in full daylight, an enemy within plotting further, deadlier attacks. All the way up to the president, officials had known something like this could happen, and yet nothing had been done.
Twenty years later, the German government had still managed to evade responsibility for the crime--and probably would have continued to, were it not for the determination of three lawyers named McCloy, Peaslee, and Martin. These men--most crucially the young John McCloy--made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second. THE DETONATORS is a fascinating portrait of these men and their time, an era in which the rising American establishment engaged the world. It is also the dramatic love story of John and Ellen McCloy, and the first full accounting of a crime and a cover-up that resonates strongly in a post-9/11 America.
"Millman (The Odds; Pickup Artists), best known for his sports writing, tackles a fascinating but little-known episode in World War I history: the extensive plot by a network of German spies to wreak havoc in the U.S. Their one big success, he observes, was the massive explosion that blew up a spit of land in New York Harbor next to Liberty Island known as Black Tom, including an ammunition depot, and caused extensive damage throughout Manhattan and Jersey City, with reverberations felt as far south as Philadelphia. Millman has delved into the story deeply and with verve, basing much of this fast-paced, thrillerlike tale on affidavits, briefs, memos and letters from those involved in the plot and the long postwar effort to get to the bottom of it. Although the American government had plenty of clues about who was responsible, nothing of substance was done to solve the mystery until the early 1930s when three American lawyers — John McCloy, Amos Peaslee and Harold Martin — set out in earnest to investigate it. Millman's emphasis on the personal stories of the main characters involved in hatching the Black Tom plot and those who solved it makes for gripping reading. 8 b&w photos. (July 12)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Twenty years after blowing up Black Tom Island in the New York Harbor, the German government had still evaded responsibility for the crime. Three lawyers made it their mission to solve a mystery that began during the first World War and barely ended before the second.
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History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime