WINTER OF FIRE: The Abduction of General Dozier and the Downfall of the Red Brigades by Richard O. & Gordon L. Freedman Collin

WINTER OF FIRE: The Abduction of General Dozier and the Downfall of the Red Brigades

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Collin's 1980 thriller, Imbroglio, detailed international political intrigues in Rome. Now he joins forces with film producer Freedman to chronicle a real-life Italian political thriller, the 1981 kidnapping and subsequent rescue of American general James Dozier. The colorful cast here includes Antonio Savasta, die-hard urban terrorist and underground leader of the Red Brigades, an Italian left-wing radical group; Emilia Libera, Savasta's beautiful but ambivalent comrade and lover; Dozier, whom Savasta and Libera kidnap in a daring guerrilla foray; and Genoa Police Commissioner Salvatore Genova, hardened yet humane bloodhound and eventual rescuer of Dozier. After introducing these characters, Collin and Freedman weave a series of vignettes that re-creates the most sensational crime in recent Italian history. But more than simply telling a good story, the authors also probe the quixotic nature of the armed struggle conducted by the Red Brigades. According to Collin and Freedman, the debacle of the Dozier kidnapping symbolized the inability of a group concocted in the political cauldron of the 1960's to survive in the ideological freezer of the 1980's. And, forsaking a black-and-white portrait, the authors manage to generate a surprising degree of pathos, if not sympathy, for the kidnappers by contrasting their romanticism with the banality of the military establishment they attacked in order to get Dozier (whose heroism shines through here) to admit to military crimes against Italy, including the storing of nuclear weapons on Italian soil. An exciting read; a provocative analysis.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1990
Publisher: Dutton