The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice [Millman]


Author: Chad Millman

Nonfiction, Hardcover

In the first two years of World War I, a German government annoyed by American shipments of ammunition to the Allies decided to do something about it. Not content with diplomatically protesting the incompatibility of America's arms sales with its neutral status, the Germans unwisely decided on sabotage. Black Tom Island in New York Harbor exploded on July 30, 1916, killing several and shattering the windows of lower Manhattan. Initially German involvement remained concealed, but after the war, litigation coaxed out the truth. Leading off with the organization of the sabotage campaign,

Millman backfills his narrative with revelations brought forth by years of legal proceedings before a German-American commission. From a storytelling perspective, Millman commendably rises above a dry recitation of briefs and rulings, his chief agent being future cold-war figure John J. McCloy, who questioned many implicated in the case. With its obvious contemporary resonance, Millman's able account of an earlier foreign attack on America should draw the espionage audience and more. 

This book was printed in the United States.