The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice

Chad Millman, Author . Little, Brown $24.95 (330p) ISBN 978-0-316-73496-7

Millman (The Odds ; Pickup Artists ), best known for his sports writing, tackles a fascinating but little-known episode in World War I history: the extensive plot by a network of German spies to wreak havoc in the U.S. Their one big success, he observes, was the massive explosion that blew up a spit of land in New York Harbor next to Liberty Island known as Black Tom, including an ammunition depot, and caused extensive damage throughout Manhattan and Jersey City, with reverberations felt as far south as Philadelphia. Millman has delved into the story deeply and with verve, basing much of this fast-paced, thrillerlike tale on affidavits, briefs, memos and letters from those involved in the plot and the long postwar effort to get to the bottom of it. Although the American government had plenty of clues about who was responsible, nothing of substance was done to solve the mystery until the early 1930s when three American lawyers—John McCloy, Amos Peaslee and Harold Martin—set out in earnest to investigate it. Millman's emphasis on the personal stories of the main characters involved in hatching the Black Tom plot and those who solved it makes for gripping reading. 8 b&w photos. (July 12)

Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0282-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60640-855-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-07662-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3282-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5282-7
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!