THE ATTACK ON THE LIBERTY

THE UNTOLD STORY OF ISRAEL’S DEADLY 1967 ASSAULT ON A U.S. SPY SHIP

Not entirely convincing, but a welcome, fresh look at a still-controversial subject.

Debut author Scott investigates one of the worst assaults in American history on a Navy vessel not engaged in battle—an intelligence-gathering ship on which the author’s father was an officer.

On June 8, 1967, as the Six-Day War raged, the U.S. Navy backed all its ships off Israel’s coast except for the Liberty, which was 12 miles offshore in international waters. Israeli forces asked the ship to identify itself; the Liberty asked that Israeli forces identify themselves first. Then Israeli torpedo boats and jets attacked the Liberty for a full hour, shooting more than 800 bullets through its hull, blasting a hole in its side with a torpedo, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171. After providing a suspenseful, moment-by-moment portrayal of the siege, gleaned from interviews with survivors, Scott addresses the question of exactly why the assault happened, which is still a matter of dispute. The Israeli government claimed that the brutal attack was simply a tragic mistake; Israeli forces did not see the ship’s American markings and suspected it was Egyptian. After a weeklong Navy investigation, the U.S. government accepted that explanation, though many officials, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, had doubts. Some suspected that the Israelis knew full well that that the ship was American, but attacked it anyway for unauthorized spying on sensitive communications. Even President Lyndon Johnson confided to a Newsweek reporter that he believed the attack was intentional. Scott makes a strong circumstantial case for this argument, though hard evidence remains elusive and the true story may never be known. The most powerful passages deal with the human cost of the attack—the casualties and the psychological toll on the survivors. The moving closing scene depicts a meeting between the author’s father and one of the Israeli pilots involved in the attack.

Not entirely convincing, but a welcome, fresh look at a still-controversial subject.

Pub Date: June 2, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4165-5482-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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