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Assassins' Deeds

A History of Assassination from the Pharaohs of Egypt to the Present Day

John Withington



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Reaktion Books
01 December 2020
History; General & world history; Political assassinations
Assassins have been killing the powerful and famous for at least three thousand years. Personal ambition, revenge, and anger have encouraged many to violent deeds, like the Turkish sultan who had nineteen of his brothers strangled or the bodyguards who murdered a dozen Roman emperors. More recently have come new motives like religious and political fanaticism, revolution and liberation, with governments also getting in on the act, while many victims seem to have been surprisingly careless: Abraham Lincoln was killed after letting his bodyguard go for a drink. So, do assassinations work? Drawing on anecdote, historical evidence, and statistical analysis, Assassins' Deeds delves into some of history's most notorious acts, unveiling an intriguing cast of characters, ingenious methods of killing, and many unintended consequences.
By:   John Withington
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9781789143515
ISBN 10:   1789143519
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   01 December 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming

John Withington is an award-winning television journalist and one of Britain's leading disaster historians. He is the author of A Disastrous History of the World (2008) and London's Disasters (2011),Britain's 20 Worst Military Disasters (2011), Flood: Nature and Culture (Reaktion, 2013) and Storm: Nature and Culture (Reaktion, 2016).

Reviews for Assassins' Deeds: A History of Assassination from the Pharaohs of Egypt to the Present Day

Like Shakespeare himself, Assassins' Deeds offers us a stage memorably strewn with the most distinguished of corpses. 'Bloody instructions' (as Macbeth called them) are certainly to be found here in abundance. But there are also wise words about how often incompetence and unintended consequences derail the best laid plans. Assassination, Withington instructs us in entertaining style, is no exact science. A messy tale: and a haunting one. --Tim Wilson, director, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), University of St Andrews

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