THE DEED by Gerold Frank


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Reporting the partly-censored trial of the two boys who committed The eed and returning often to the Middle East on subsequent assignments, veteran ocumentarian Frank was ""held spellbound by the tale"" of how and why the ranking British official of the area, Rt. Hon. Walter Edward Guinness (of the stout family). Lord Moyne, was killed -- in the courtyard of his home on November 6, 1944 -- by members of an underground Jewish terrorist group. Seeking to understand why Lord Moyne died, and why his assassins paid the highest penalty, Frank studied the whole picture in the Mideast at that time, focusing on the administration of Sir Harold MacMichael, British High Commissioner and the ""most hated man"" in Palestine. Most of the nearly fifty persons connected with the case have been interviewed by Frank; The Deed, a story of passion, is woven of intimate threads neatly loomed and carefully blocked without false pathos or the riddle sentimentality. The nature of Frank's approach may be seen in the way he framed the riddle the book is organized to solve: ""What was it that drove (them), and the older men who led them, to take to the extremity of violent action? Why should they oppose the established official policy of the Jewish community...?"" The answer, Frank believes, lies in an observation made at the time: ""A man who goes to kill a man whom he does not know personally must be convinced that by his act he changes the course of history."" That might well be the ironic epitaph of any idealistic terrorist movement in any nation of the world.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1963
Publisher: Simon & Schuster