The Murder of Napoleon
by Ben Weider and David Hapgood (Berkley)
Assassination of Frederico Garcia Lorca
by Ian Gibson (Penguin)
by John Gabree
Here are the results of two extraordinary efforts at historical research,
the one aimed at discovering how and by whom the French Emperor Napoleon
Bonaparte was murdered, the other seeking to understand the context
of repression in Nationalist Spain that made the death of an independent
and progressive figure like the poet Garcia Lorca inevitable.
"The Murder of Napoleon" is deliberately cast in the form
of a detective story. In alternating chapters, the authors describe
the emperor’s last days on St. Helena and follow the later efforts
of a Swedish dentist and a Scottish nuclear engineer to unravel the
mystery of his death. It is the story of one of the most suspenseful
episodes in the history of forensic medicine. It will appeal as strongly
to etective buffs as to readers of history.
“The Assassination of Frederico Garcia Lorca” is a more
serious if no less appealing work. At dawn on August 19, 1936, Spain's
greatest modern poet was shot to death in a ditch in Viznar. "Garcia
Lorca was eliminated, along with thousands of other victims, by a system
of terror with the express purpose of crushing all possible resistance"
to the authority of the fascists by the people of Grenada.
Gibson makes it feasible to understand the deeply corrosive effect of
fascism on Spanish values and aspirations. But he goes further in an
attempt to discover who gave the order to kill, laying the guilt squarely
on the doorstep of the local Falangists.