A lonely Manhattan saloonkeeper, John Flammang Schrank was obsessed with the 1912 presidential election and Theodore Roosevelt. The ex-president's extremism and third-term campaign struck Schrank as un-American; he believed TR would ignite civil war, and so answered what he thought to be a divine summons, buying a gun and stalking Roosevelt across seven states before making his move in Milwaukee on October 14. The author of Stone of Kings and Humboldt's Cosmos here gives us a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative that includes Schrank's own statements and writings, providing a chilling glimpse into the mind of a political assassin.
"A lively account of Theodore Roosevelt's would-be murder reveals the roiling issues and personalities of that key campaign…. Roosevelt's shooting certainly yanked American politics into the modern era and revealed the courage of the irrepressible victim…. [Gerard] Helferich creates several wonderful character studies ... within a blistering campaign."—Kirkus Reviews