The assassinations and attempted assassinations of American presidents were pivotal events that reverberated throughout the nation, even in cases where the murder was botched. The individuals behind each plot are often fascinating studies in obsession and distorted perception of reality—like President James Garfield's assassin, who spent an extra dollar on the gun he chose for the act simply because it would look better in a museum display after the event.
For the first time under one cover, this text offers a concise study of every presidential assassination, attempt, and rumor. Each chapter focuses on a single American assassination, providing an analysis of the president, the assassin, and the events that shaped their arrival at that place in time. The chapter then describes the assassination or attempt itself and the long-term impacts of the crime. Accounts of the more contemporary incidents involving Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush especially demonstrate the evolution of the monumental task of protecting the U.S. president in a free and open society.
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