Friday, March 03, 2006

2006 Book 4 1/2

"The Assassination Business: A History Of State-Sponsored Murder" by Richard Belfield

The name pretty much says it all with this one. It's a non-fiction, well-researched run-down of how assassination functions and has functioned since the Hashashin started conducting their assymetrical warfare around 1090. It runs through some of the basics of assassination and how governments impliment/order these actions. It looks at some of the more famous assassinations through history and analyses them in regards to their success or failure.

As far as the writing is concerned, Belfield's prose is smooth, if not always page-turningly engrossing. He has obviously done a lot of research and seems to be honest and forthcoming where conclusions are his, rather than directly from his research. I learned (was informed?) that, for example, Yitzhak Rabin's assassination has some genuine Kennedy-style conspiracy theory elements. For example, he was shot in the back by his assassin and yet the fatal wound seemed to have originated from in front of him. Interesting, n'est pas?

Taken with a grain of salt, the information in this book is genuinely interesting and definitely worth a look for all those "the truth is out there" people. And anyone even vaguely interested in how things work behind the scenes. Belfield does seem to be one of those people who see Al Qaeda as a huge, amorphous beast that is centrally controlled by two or three people, but apart from that, most of his conclusions do make sense, given the evidence he has collected.

Three and a half targets out of five.


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