American lightning: terror, mystery, movie-making, and the crime of the century

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Crown Publishers,
Pub. Date:
2008.
Language:
English
Description
It was an explosion that reverberated across the country—and into the very heart of early-twentieth-century America. On the morning of October 1, 1910, the walls of the Los Angeles Times Building buckled as a thunderous detonation sent men, machinery, and mortar rocketing into the night air. When at last the wreckage had been sifted and the hospital triage units consulted, twenty-one people were declared dead and dozens more injured. But as it turned out, this was just a prelude to the devastation that was to come.In American Lightning, acclaimed author Howard Blum masterfully evokes the incredible circumstances that led to the original “crime of the century”—and an aftermath more dramatic than even the crime itself. With smoke still wafting up from the charred ruins, the city’s mayor reacts with undisguised excitement when he learns of the arrival, only that morning, of America’s greatest detective, William J. Burns, a former Secret Service man who has been likened to Sherlock Holmes. Surely Burns, already world famous for cracking unsolvable crimes and for his elaborate disguises, can run the perpetrators to ground. Through the work of many months, snowbound stakeouts, and brilliant forensic sleuthing, the great investigator finally identifies the men he believes are responsible for so much destruction. Stunningly, Burns accuses the men—labor activists with an apparent grudge against the Los Angeles Times’s fiercely anti-union owner—of not just one heinous deed but of being part of a terror wave involving hundreds of bombings. While preparation is laid for America’s highest profile trial ever—and the forces of labor and capital wage hand-to-hand combat in the streets—two other notable figures are swept into the drama: industry-shaping ?lmmaker D.W. Griffith, who perceives in these events the possibility of great art and who will go on to alchemize his observations into the landmark film The Birth of a Nation; and crusading lawyer Clarence Darrow, committed to lend his eloquence to the defendants, though he will be driven to thoughts of suicide before events have fully played out.Simultaneously offering the absorbing reading experience of a can’t-put-it-down thriller and the perception-altering resonance of a story whose reverberations continue even today, American Lightning is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction.
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ISBN:
9780307346940
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID5c0a926f-9720-d0fa-ebaa-bac5b7c12430
Grouping Titleamerican lightning terror mystery movie making and the crime of the century
Grouping Authorblum howard
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-12-18 17:22:13PM
Last Indexed2020-01-23 04:39:52AM

Solr Details

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authorBlum, Howard.
author_displayBlum, Howard
available_at_arlingtonCentral
collection_arlingtonAdult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlingtonCentral Adult Nonfiction
display_descriptionAn unforgettable tale of murder, deceit, celebrity, media manipulation, and film as propaganda, when the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building exposed the deadly "national dynamite plot" by trade unionists to terrorize America with one-hundred bombings in a doomed attempt to force capitalism to its knees. The relentless pursuit, capture, trial, and punishment of the bombers made a national hero of America's Sherlock Holmes, master detective Billy Burns, and entangled crusading defense lawyer Clarence Darrow in a reckless, nearly career-ending scheme to bribe witnesses and jurors and throttle justice.
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literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington364.152 BLUM
owning_library_arlingtonArlington Public Library
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Central
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Columbia Pike
Connection Crystal City
Detention Center
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Local History
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primary_isbn9780307346940
publishDate2008
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b13066638BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishCrown Publishers, 2008.339 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b13066638.i13619901On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue9999
subject_facetBombings -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
Terrorism -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
title_displayAmerican lightning : terror, mystery, movie-making, and the crime of the century
title_fullAmerican lightning : terror, mystery, movie-making, and the crime of the century / Howard Blum
title_shortAmerican lightning
title_subterror, mystery, movie-making, and the crime of the century