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  • Mike Martinez

My New Book is Available: Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History

I am pleased to announce the publication of my 12th book, Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History: The Lasting Effects of Gun Violence Against American Political Leaders. Beginning in November 2017, the book is available from these fine sellers:

The book can also be purchased through any of the following four book clubs:

Here is what a few reviewers wrote after they read an advance copy of the book:

“In J. Michael Martinez's new book, Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History, he does a brilliant job of putting US presidential assassinations and attempts under a microscope for an insightful and sobering view of US history.”—Greg Stebben, author of White House Confidential

“J. Michael Martinez’s new book about political assassins is a must read and is a book which I heartedly recommend. Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History adds a crucial historical dimension to our understanding of the motives which have driven assassins and would-be assassins in US history.”—Mel Ayton, author of Hunting The President--Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts --From FDR to Obama

“The USA is a uniquely and hugely violent place, as this book demonstrates. This is so because it was birthed in genocide against Native Americans and in the enslavement of black Africans. Assassination, which is a political murder, has been used against government figures and by the government itself. The killing of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy altered world history in as much as he set his course against the Cold War. Likewise, the murder of Malcolm X set back the struggle for black freedom. The USA has been at war almost continually since I was born in 1942. As the leader of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, H. Rap Brown, famously observed: "violence is as American as apple pie.” —Attorney Michael Steven Smith, co-host, Law and Disorder Radio and author of The Assassination of Che Guevara

“In this study of American political assassinations, J. Michael Martinez not only takes us through what happened in the past, but also delves into the minds and motivations of the assassins to help as we look into the future. Can we learn from the patterns and predict the next assassination? Maybe, maybe not, but this fascinating book provides a deeper understanding into the warning signs which, unfortunately, may be all too plentiful in today’s political climate.” —Mike Farris, author of A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow

“Original and evocative, this book examines within the historical context the nature of assassinations perpetrated against twenty-five American political figures. Grappling with this perplexing issue, Martinez probes the jagged edge of human psychology. He offers a provocative explanation of the underlying motives behind political assassinations, assigning them to five categories. This theoretical construct combines the complexity and the contingence of violence in America.” —Orville Vernon Burton, Clemson University, author The Age of Lincoln

In Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History, Martinez thoughtfully examines political assassinations in America to understand not just the historically important question of what happened, but, perhaps more importantly, the intriguing one of why individuals resorted to violence against prominent political figures. In quest of their motivations, Martinez distributes the twenty-five assassins he has identified into five categories that range from rational beings to crazy ones to “others.” Why political assassinations seem to be increasing since the nineteenth century is an obvious matter of great concern to lovers of liberty in a republic solidly based on the rule of law—and most especially so in times when partisan political discourse is coarser, participants more passionate, and self-governed individuals seemingly rarer. —William D. Richardson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Dakota, and author of Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Character: Founding Thought

“In Political Assassinations and Attempts in US History, J. Michael Martinez provides an incisive description and analysis of a problem that has plagued nations and communities. Based on twenty-five instances of violence against elected officials and public figures in the United States, the book contributes new insight to long-standing issue.” —Jeffrey L. Brudney, PhD, Betty and Dan Cameron Family Distinguished Professor of Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Faithful readers of my blog will recognize that I have been previewing each chapter from the book in my recent postings. I will continue to provide the summaries in future blogs. Stay tuned.

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