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2005: American Gunfight

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.

You can help support my volunteer website to chronicle Stephen Hunter’s writings by buying Havana from You pay the same – but I get a small commission. Click the image at left to buy the paperback, and thanks for your support!

4 Responses to “2005: American Gunfight”

  1. News about Stephen Hunter, Master Author Says:

    [...] finally got the books section updated to include “American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman and the Shoot-Out That Stopped It,” the non-fiction book Hunter wrote several years ago with John Bainbridge, [...]

  2. shannon branch Says:

    I really enjoyed this book.

  3. win1885 Says:

    This was the first Hunter book I read. Bought it at BWI before flying out to take my first cruise. I was hooked from the beginning. I vaguely remember the
    shooting in the house of representatives in 1954 from news broadcasts, but this was the first I’d heard of the attempt to kill Truman. I highly recommend this as an important and over looked piece of world history.

  4. scott schultz Says:

    I have not had the privilege of reading this book as yet. However after reading the remarks by all of you I certainly will buy it. I have almost all of Stephen Hunter’s books and have loved them all. I am missing only this one , Target, and Second Saladin. I even have the privilege of having 5 personally signed copies of Stephen Hunter’s books through his brother in law.

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