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About Howard Blum
Howard Blum is the author of New York Times bestsellers including Night of the Assassins, In the Enemy's House, The Last Goodnight, Dark Invasion, the Edgar Award–winner American Lightning, as well as Wanted!, The Gold Exodus, Gangland, and The Floor of Heaven. Blum is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.
While at the New York Times, he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He is the father of three children, and lives in Connecticut. Film rights have been bought by Columbia Pictures to Howard's most recent book, The Last Goodnight, and previous titles.
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Twitter: @HowardBlum and @FloorOfHeaven
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Titles By Howard Blum
The New York Times bestselling author of Dark Invasion and The Last Goodnight once again illuminates the lives of little-known individuals who played a significant role in America’s history as he chronicles the incredible true story of a critical, recently declassified counterintelligence mission and two remarkable agents whose story has been called "the greatest secret of the Cold War."
In 1946, genius linguist and codebreaker Meredith Gardner discovered that the KGB was running an extensive network of strategically placed spies inside the United States, whose goal was to infiltrate American intelligence and steal the nation’s military and atomic secrets. Over the course of the next decade, he and young FBI supervisor Bob Lamphere worked together on Venona, a top-secret mission to uncover the Soviet agents and protect the Holy Grail of Cold War espionage—the atomic bomb.
Opposites in nearly every way, Lamphere and Gardner relentlessly followed a trail of clues that helped them identify and take down these Soviet agents one by one, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But at the center of this spy ring, seemingly beyond the American agents’ grasp, was the mysterious master spy who pulled the strings of the KGB’s extensive campaign, dubbed Operation Enormoz by Russian Intelligence headquarters. Lamphere and Gardner began to suspect that a mole buried deep in the American intelligence community was feeding Moscow Center information on Venona. They raced to unmask the traitor and prevent the Soviets from fulfilling Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s threat: "We shall bury you!"
A breathtaking chapter of American history and a page-turning mystery that plays out against the tense, life-and-death gamesmanship of the Cold War, this twisting thriller begins at the end of World War II and leads all the way to the execution of the Rosenbergs—a result that haunted both Gardner and Lamphere to the end of their lives.
“Howard Blum writes history books that read like thrillers.”—New York Times
A retired spy gets back into the game to solve a perplexing case—and reconcile with his daughter, a CIA officer who married into the very family that derailed his own CIA career—in this compulsive true-life tale of vindication and redemption, filled with drama, intrigue, and mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Goodnight, It’s a real-life thriller whose stunning conclusion will make headline news.
On a sunlit morning in September 1978, a sloop drifts aimlessly across the Chesapeake Bay. The cabin reveals signs of a struggle, and “classified” documents, live 9 mm cartridges, and a top-secret “burst” satellite communications transmitter are discovered aboard. But where is the boat’s owner, former CIA officer John Paisley?
One man may hold the key to finding out. Tennent “Pete” Bagley was once a rising star in America’s spy aristocracy, and many expected he’d eventually become CIA director. But the star that burned so brightly exploded when Bagley—who suspected a mole had burrowed deep into the agency’s core—was believed himself to be the mole. After a year-long investigation, Bagley was finally exonerated, but the accusations tarnished his reputation and tainted his career.
When Bagley’s daughter Christina, a CIA analyst, married another intelligence officer who was the son of the man who had played a key role in the investigation into Bagley, it caused a painful rift between the two. But then came Paisley’s strange death. A murder? Suicide? Or something else? Pete, now a retired spy, launches his own investigation that takes him deep into his own past and his own longtime hunt for a mole. What follows is a relentless pursuit to solve a spy story—and an inspiring tale of a man reclaiming his reputation and his family. It’s a very personal quest that leads to a shocking conclusion.
The Spy Who Knew Too Much includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
"A truly thrilling expose of the previously unknown Nazi assassination plot that could have changed history." — Edward Jay Epstein, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassination Chronicles
The New York Times bestselling author returns with a tale as riveting and suspenseful as any thriller: the true story of the Nazi plot to kill the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. during World War II.
The mission: to kill the three most important and heavily guarded men in the world.
The assassins: a specially trained team headed by the killer known as The Most Dangerous Man in Europe.
The stakes: nothing less than the future of the Western world.
The year is 1943 and the three Allied leaders—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin—are meeting for the first time at a top-secret conference in Tehran. But the Nazis have learned about the meeting and Hitler sees it as his last chance to turn the tide. Although the war is undoubtedly lost, the Germans believe that perhaps a new set of Allied leaders might be willing to make a more reasonable peace in its aftermath. And so a plan is devised—code name Operation Long Jump—to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.
Immediately, a highly trained, hand-picked team of Nazi commandos is assembled, trained, armed with special weapons, and parachuted into Iran. They have six days to complete the daring assignment before the statesmen will return home. With no margin for error and little time to spare, Mike Reilly, the head of FDR’s Secret Service detail—a man from a Montana silver mining town who describes himself as “an Irish cop with more muscle than brains”—must overcome his suspicions and instincts to work with a Soviet agent from the NKVD (the precursor to the KGB) to save the three most powerful men in the world.
Filled with eight pages of black-and-white photographs, Night of the Assassins is a suspenseful true-life tale about an impossible mission, a ticking clock, and one man who stepped up to the challenge and prevented a world catastrophe.
November 1944. The British government finally agrees to send a brigade of 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine to Europe to fight the German army. But when the war ends and the soldiers witness firsthand the horrors their people have suffered in the concentration camps, the men launch a brutal and calculating campaign of vengeance, forming secret squads to identify, locate, and kill Nazi officers in hiding. Their own ferocity threatens to overwhelm them until a fortuitous encounter with an orphaned girl sets the men on a course of action—rescuing Jewish war orphans and transporting them to Palestine—that will not only change their lives but also help create a nation and forever alter the course of world history.
The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Dark Invasion, channels Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre in this riveting biography of Betty Pack, the dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief General “Wild Bill" Donovan as “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.”
Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and intelligent—and she knew it. As an agent for Britain’s MI-6 and then America’s OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success. This is the remarkable story of this “Mata Hari from Minnesota” (Time) and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life—a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory.
For decades, much of Betty’s career working for MI-6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed “Cynthia,” who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing’s success with Operation Ultra.
Beneath Betty’s cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.
It is the last decade of the 19th century. The Wild West has been tamed and its fierce, independent and often violent larger-than-life figures--gun-toting wanderers, trappers, prospectors, Indian fighters, cowboys, and lawmen--are now victims of their own success. But then gold is discovered in Alaska and the adjacent Canadian Klondike and a new frontier suddenly looms: an immense unexplored territory filled with frozen waterways, dark spruce forests, and towering mountains capped by glistening layers of snow and ice.
In a true-life tale that rivets from the first page, we meet Charlie Siringo, a top-hand sharp-shooting cowboy who becomes one of the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s shrewdest; George Carmack, a California-born American Marine who’s adopted by an Indian tribe, raises a family with a Taglish squaw, and makes the discovery that starts off the Yukon Gold Rush; and Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, a sly and inventive conman who rules a vast criminal empire.
As we follow this trio’s lives, we’re led inexorably into a perplexing mystery: a fortune in gold bars has somehow been stolen from the fortress-like Treadwell Mine in Juneau, Alaska. Charlie Siringo discovers that to run the thieves to ground, he must embark on a rugged cross-territory odyssey that will lead him across frigid waters and through a frozen wilderness to face down "Soapy" Smith and his gang of 300 cutthroats. Hanging in the balance: George Carmack’s fortune in gold.
At once a compelling true-life mystery and an unforgettable portrait of a time in America’s history, The Floor of Heaven is also an exhilarating tribute to the courage and undaunted spirit of the men and women who helped shape America.
The team: A handpicked squad of FBI agents -- led by a war hero determined to get the job done. The target: John Gotti, the seemingly invincible head of the richest and most powerful crime of modern-day Untouchables, the FBI's C-16 Organized Crime squad, who finally ended the cocky crime lord's reign of terror.
Drawing on unprecedented access to FBI records and agents, bestselling author and prize-winning journalist Howard Blum tells the riveting and suspenseful story behind the headlines. Here is the deadly game of cat and mouse that pitted Gotti, his ruthless henchmen and his elusive law-enforcement mole against the Bureau.
It is a tale of courage, murder and betrayal. From Mafia backrooms to FBI squad rooms, from the high-tech electronic invasion of Gotti's headquarters to the desperate effort to expose the mole, Gangland is more shocking than fiction -- an instant Mafia classic.
Combining the pulsating drive of Showtime's Homeland with the fascinating historical detail of such of narrative nonfiction bestsellers as Double Cross and In the Garden of Beasts, Dark Invasion is Howard Blum’s gritty, high-energy true-life tale of German espionage and terror on American soil during World War I, and the NYPD Inspector who helped uncover the plot—the basis for the film to be produced by and starring Bradley Cooper.
When a “neutral” United States becomes a trading partner for the Allies early in World War I, the Germans implement a secret plan to strike back. A team of saboteurs—including an expert on germ warfare, a Harvard professor, and a brilliant, debonair spymaster—devise a series of “mysterious accidents” using explosives and biological weapons, to bring down vital targets such as ships, factories, livestock, and even captains of industry like J. P. Morgan.
New York Police Inspector Tom Tunney, head of the department’s Bomb Squad, is assigned the difficult mission of stopping them. Assembling a team of loyal operatives, the cunning Irish cop hunts for the conspirators among a population of more than eight million Germans. But the deeper he finds himself in this labyrinth of deception, the more Tunney realizes that the enemy’s plan is far more complex and more dangerous than he suspected.
Full of drama and intensity, illustrated with eight pages of black and-white photos, Dark Invasion is riveting war thriller that chillingly echoes our own time.
On October 6, 1973—Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar—the Arab world launched a bold and ingeniously conceived surprise attack against Israel. After three days of intense, bloody combat, an unprepared Israel was fighting for survival, while the Arabs, with massive forces closing in on the Jewish heartland, were poised to redeem the honor lost in three previous wars.
Based on declassified Israeli government documents and revealing interviews with soldiers, generals, and intelligence operatives on both sides of the conflict, The Eve of Destruction weaves a suspenseful, eye-opening story of war, politics, and deception. It also tells the moving human tale of the men and women who fought to maintain love and honor as their lives and destinies were swept up in the Yom Kippur War.
In American Lightning, acclaimed author Howard Blum masterfully evokes the incredible circumstances that led to the original “crime of the century”—and an aftermath more dramatic than even the crime itself.
With smoke still wafting up from the charred ruins, the city’s mayor reacts with undisguised excitement when he learns of the arrival, only that morning, of America’s greatest detective, William J. Burns, a former Secret Service man who has been likened to Sherlock Holmes. Surely Burns, already world famous for cracking unsolvable crimes and for his elaborate disguises, can run the perpetrators to ground.
Through the work of many months, snowbound stakeouts, and brilliant forensic sleuthing, the great investigator finally identifies the men he believes are responsible for so much destruction. Stunningly, Burns accuses the men—labor activists with an apparent grudge against the Los Angeles Times’s fiercely anti-union owner—of not just one heinous deed but of being part of a terror wave involving hundreds of bombings.
While preparation is laid for America’s highest profile trial ever—and the forces of labor and capital wage hand-to-hand combat in the streets—two other notable figures are swept into the drama: industry-shaping ﬁlmmaker D.W. Griffith, who perceives in these events the possibility of great art and who will go on to alchemize his observations into the landmark film The Birth of a Nation; and crusading lawyer Clarence Darrow, committed to lend his eloquence to the defendants, though he will be driven to thoughts of suicide before events have fully played out.
Simultaneously offering the absorbing reading experience of a can’t-put-it-down thriller and the perception-altering resonance of a story whose reverberations continue even today, American Lightning is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction.
Eminent biblical scholars at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have argued that Mount Sinai is not in the Sinai Peninsula at all, but rather in northwestern Saudi Arabia. However, they were never allowed into the kingdom to prove their argument. When Cornuke and Williams are also denied entry, they daringly sneak into Saudi Arabia. And what they discover at the mountain known as Jabal al Lawz will astonish the worldand inspire readers to rethink the role of the Bible in history. They find the remains of the stone altar at which the Golden Calf was worshiped, the twelve pillars that Moses ordered to be erected, the cave where Moses slept, and, most sensationally, the unnaturally scorched spot on the mountaintop where God gave Moses the two stone tablets. They also explain, in a fascinating account, the truth about the parting of the Red Sea waters. And not the least of their discoveries is the fact that one of the most sacred spots on earth is now a top secret Saudi military base. As these two adventurers follow in Moses' footsteps, they become pawns in a dangerous game of international power politics and intrigue, This action-packed talepart high-tech treasure hunt, part modern-day spy thriller, and part biblical detective storyis riveting. And it is all true.