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An Eye Opening Journey Through 500 Years of Discoveries, Disappearances, and Baffling Events

by Paul Aron

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-471-15369-9
Publisher: Wiley

 Thirty famous events of American history that still challenge the skills of historian-detectives. The intriguing and controversial events explored by Aron (a reporter for the Virginia Gazette and former executive editor at Simon & Schuster) range from the vexed question of who arrived first in North America to the matter of who the first European explorers of America were, and from the equally prickly issue of how much Richard Nixon knew about Watergate to how much Ronald Reagan knew about the Iran-Contra mess. How did CortÇs, with some 400 men, conquer the Aztec empire of 200,000 soldiers and 25 million subjects? Did Pocahontas save John Smith? What caused the Salem witch hunt? Why did Benedict Arnold become a traitor? Why did Lee order Pickett's charge against entrenched Union forces? Were Sacco and Vanzetti guilty? Was Amelia Earhart, a friend of the Roosevelts, a spy? Who was most to blame for the disaster at Pearl Harbor? What happened at the Gulf of Tonkin? Who was behind the assassinations of Malcolm X and JFK? The author explores each issue with clarity, incorporating the latest research on each issue and offering a variety of answers. More important, he applies his own considerable logical powers to the questions, and does so in a sufficiently careful manner to allow readers to follow the reasoning and arrive at their own opinions. At the end of each chapter, Aron lists the best publications for those anxious to do further research. Stimulating and pleasurable, fair and objective analyses, recommended for both the history buff and the fan of true-life mysteries. (drawings and photos, not seen)