Hachette Book Group

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



by Chad Millman

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. 


6 x .88 x 9.25 inches

All items are shipped from the Museum Store in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Items will be fulfilled within 3 days of order placement. Standard shipping times will vary depending on the shipping method chosen at check-out. 

Merchandise may be returned within 14 days of purchase for a refund in the form of original payment.

For more information about our policies, visit our Shipping and Returns page.

All purchases are tax-free and benefit America's official World War I Museum and Memorial