DAYS OF WRATH: The Ordeal of Aldo Moro by Robert Katz

DAYS OF WRATH: The Ordeal of Aldo Moro

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Rome-based writer Robert Katz (The Spoils of Ararat, The Cassandra Cróssing) admits his account of the Moro kidnapping is not ""definitive""; but he covers a lot of ground. Though he follows events from the actual kidnapping to the eventual recovery of the body, Katz concentrates on the political machinations that lead to the decision not to negotiate with the Red Brigades (the ""hard line"") and on Moro's own letter-writing campaign to save himself. Using newspaper reports, Moro's letters, and Red Brigade communiques, Katz writes that the Communists, who had been elected pledging to defend demôcracy, were among the first to disassociate themselves from the terrorists, so the Christian Democrats ""could do no less""--leaving only the Socialists to support negotiation. The ""hard line"" involved making Moro a ""non-person,"" so his letters were dubbed either phony or works of a madman; and a cooperative press conveyed the government line. Although Moro, aware of this opposition, sought and received aid from Pope Paul VI, UN Secretary General Waldheim, Amnesty International, and his own family, his trial and execution went ahead. ""I would like the full responsibility of Christian Democracy to remain very clear,"" he wrote his wife, and the party's Interior Minister did resign, taking ""full political and moral responsibility."" Katz condemns the ""hard line,"" claiming to have learned through an intermediary that the terrorists sought political recognition only, and had not intended originally to kill Moro. An effective presentation of one side of the case, at least.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday