The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman
Who Killed the Bishop?

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Synopsis

Bishop Juan Gerardi, Guatemala’s leading human rights activist, was bludgeoned to death in his garage on a Sunday night in 1998, two days after the presentation of a groundbreaking church-sponsored report implicating the military in the murders and disappearances of some two hundred thousand civilians. Realizing that it could not rely on police investigators or the legal system to solve the murder, the church formed its own investigative team, a group of secular young men in their twenties who called themselves Los Intocables (the Untouchables). Known in Guatemala as “The Crime of the Century,” the Bishop Gerardi murder case, with its unexpectedly outlandish scenarios and sensational developments, confounded observers and generated extraordinary controversy. In his first nonfiction book, acclaimed novelist Francisco Goldman has spoken to witnesses no other reporter has reached, and observed firsthand some of the most crucial developments in the case. Now he has produced The Art of Political Murder, a tense and astonishing true detective story that opens a window on the new Latin American reality of mara youth gangs and organized crime, and tells the story of a remarkable group of engaging, courageous young people, and of their remarkable fight for justice.
 

About Francisco Goldman

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Francisco Goldman is the author of three previous works of fiction (The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, and The Divine Husband), and one work of nonfiction, The Art of Political Murder. His first novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The Ordinary Seaman, his second novel, was a finalist for the International IMPAC-Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers. Currently the Allan K. Smith Professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Francisco's writing has appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City and Mexico City. Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects. Robert also earned an Earphones Award for his narration of Francisco Goldman's novel Say Her Name, which was named one of the Best Audiobooks of 2011 by AudioFile magazine. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, plus nonfiction works in history, health, journalism, and business. For eleven years, Robert was featured weekly on the InTouch network, broadcasting selections from the New Yorker magazine to the visually impaired.
 
Published September 16, 2008 by Grove Press. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Art of Political Murder

Kirkus Reviews

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Ultimately, some heads rolled—but were they the right heads?

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The New York Times

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Byron Lima Oliva and his father, the retired colonel Byron Disrael Lima Estrada — both extreme right-wingers and powerful figures in military intelligence — were actively present.

Oct 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Art of Political Murder: ...

The New York Times

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As a novelist, Francisco Goldman has mined Guatemalan misery and magic, most notably in his semiautobiographical “Long Night of White Chickens,” in which the protagonist investigates the murder of a young woman who was like a sister to him.

Sep 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Art of Political Murder: ...

The Guardian

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The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?

Feb 23 2008 | Read Full Review of The Art of Political Murder: ...

The Guardian

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The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?

Feb 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Art of Political Murder: ...

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London Review of Books

Juan Gerardi, an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Guatemala, was bludgeoned to death with a paving slab in his garage on the night of 26 April 1998.

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Bookmarks Magazine

As the Chicago Tribune puts it, "The heart of the story, Goldman brilliantly recognizes, is not only the murder but also the crude, insidiously effective ways the killers obfuscated its political motives, spinning stories as farcically compelling as any Latin soap opera."

Dec 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Art of Political Murder: ...

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