American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman – and The Shoot-out That Stopped It
by Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge, Jr.
November 1, 1950 – an unseasonably hot afternoon in sleepy Washington, DC. At 2pm, at his temporary residence in Blair House, President Harry Truman takes a nap. At 2:30pm, two Puerto Rican natives approach 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 guarding the President 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.
This is truly an overlooked gem in the Hunter portfolio. The webmaster was born in 1959, and was only vaguely aware of this historical event prior to reading Hunter’s book. And while it filled in the details for me, it was, more signficantly, just as fast and powerful a read as any of Hunter’s novels. Highly recommended.