Lone Wolf: Eric Rudolph: Murder, Myth, and the Pursuit of an American Outlaw

Maryanne Vollers, Author
Maryanne Vollers, Author . HarperCollins $25.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-06-059862-4
Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-06-059863-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-128410-6
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-128413-7
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-128408-3
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-186567-1
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Eric Rudolph, who in 1996 and 1997 set off deadly bombs in Atlanta and Birmingham—at two abortion clinics, a gay bar and at Olympic Centennial Park—was both reviled as a terrorist and celebrated as a folk hero when he evaded the largest manhunt in FBI history for five years. Vollers, a National Book Award finalist for Ghosts of Mississippi , was—for reasons Rudolph never made clear—the only journalist he consented to communicate with (in writing only) while he was awaiting trial. She draws on his letters to her to great effect in providing not just a page-turning account of the hunt for Rudolph, but, more important, a look into the "remarkable and frightening mind" of a man who, after finally pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty, remained proud of his murderous actions. The cunning fugitive, whose aim was to protest abortion, explains to Vollers how he survived the winter cold in North Carolina's Nantahala forest, how he scavenged for food, talked to himself and read newspapers aloud to prevent his vocal cords from deteriorating during the years when he spoke to no one. Vollers provides an equally striking portrait of Rudolph's mother, a misguided spiritual seeker who led her son into contact with a Christian Identity compound and other survivalist, antigovernment extremists. There are plenty of surprises and conundrums in this breathtaking and deeply disturbing attempt to answer the elusive question, "Who is Eric Rudolph?" (Nov. 1)

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