Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee

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The unknown assassin who murdered a German mayor, and then vanished. The unknown soldier who died during the Mexican-American War, and then was deified by Robert E. Lee as a symbol of the human cost of war. It would be decades before someone realized these two men were one and the same.

Death of an Assassin recounts one of the most curious tales in history: a murder committed in Germany but solved in America years later. Two minor moments on separate continents, bound together by the most unlikely of connective tissues. Ackmermann does an impressive job of reconstructing the details on both sides of the affair, exhaustively tracking down names and dates through spotty records.

Although I wish more of the German assassin’s intentions were revealed — particularly regarding going off to war in a foreign country — that’s obviously beyond the scope of Ackmermann’s meticulous research, but it’s also a testament to her hard work. After all, if I didn’t find the story fascinating and believable, why would I want to know more?

Death of an Assassin shows that, even when the world wasn’t so interconnected, it was still strangely small.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher The Kent State University Press
Publish Date 2017-Sep-01
ISBN 9781606353042 Buy this Book
Issue September 2017
Category History


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