Cover image for Assassination
Hudson, Miles, 1925-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Stroud : Sutton, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 256 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library HV6278 .H83 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Using examples from Caesar to Rabin, Hudson asks to what extent the course of history can be determined by individuals and whether individual leaders are merely the result, and not the cause of political evolution. He argues that assassination cannot reverse a historical tide, but can hasten an evolution, or push events in a desired direction.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Does the violent elimination of one man necessarily change the course of history? For example, did the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand cause World War I or did it merely speed up an inevitable explosion? Hudson, former political secretary of the British foreign service office, uses a survey of political assassinations over two millennia to examine this question. He is concerned here only with those assassinations in which the motives were strictly political, so some of the more interesting and perhaps mysterious murders are not included. Still, Hudson examines an eclectic mix of rogues, from the obvious (John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators) to the relatively obscure (the four knights who murdered Thomas aBecket in Canterbury Cathedral). He concludes that assassinations cannot change the general direction of history, but they can speed up or retard historical tides and perhaps even stimulate movement where an unstable inertia prevails. Although some of his interpretations of facts are problematic, Hudson has provided a thoughtful and stimulating look at an old question. --Jay Freeman

Google Preview