Famous Assassinations in World History

An Encyclopedia

by Michael Newton


Assassination has been used as a political tactic throughout human history.

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April 2014


Pages 864
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics World History/Politics and Government

Representing a unique reference tool for readers interested in history, criminology, or terrorism, this book provides the most complete and up-to-date coverage of assassinations of key figures throughout history and around the world.

Effecting the death of a political figure, a leader of a nation, or a public figure usually captures people's attention. But how often is assassination effective to achieve the larger objective beyond the death of the targeted individual? Famous Assassinations in World History: An Encyclopedia offers more than 200 entries on assassinations of all kinds that will allow readers to grasp the often-complex motivating factors behind each event and better understand historical and contemporary social unrest.

Each entry identifies the assassination target and summarizes that person's significance; discusses the person's assassination, including the factors that led up to it and its political and cultural contexts; and explains the powerful effects of the assassination in world history. The encyclopedia also includes various sidebars that spotlight relevant individuals, groups, and movements and present intriguing factoids such as the final disposition of notorious assassins' weapons and various films and novels that were inspired by famous assassinations. In addition, 23 primary source documents provide accounts of assassinations throughout world history.


  • Provides timely content about past assassinations that will enable students to better understand historical and contemporary social unrest
  • Introduces new information and theories on historic cases of assassination that in some cases afford novel interpretations of "what really happened"
  • Establishes the links between famous or notorious social movements and political assassinations, underscoring how an individual or a small group can be motivated to commit an act of violence by the climate of their society
  • Includes more than 20 primary source documents that provide accounts of assassinations in world history as well as numerous sidebars that augment the reading experience with interesting discussions of individuals, groups, movements, or events related to important assassinations
Author Info

Michael Newton is a freelance author who has published 266 books since 1977. His book, The Invisible Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Florida, won the Florida Historical Society's 2002 Rembert Patrick Award for Best Book in Florida History. In 2006, Newton's Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers was selected by the Reference and User Services Association as one of the year's Outstanding Reference Sources.



"[T]his set is a valuable addition to any reference collection. . . . Newton's synthesis of so much information into an easily accessible format makes this title a strong resource for a wide range of readers. Recommended."Choice

"A unique and most helpful aspect of the set is its inclusion of 23 primary documents, including Brutus' letter to Cicero on Caesar's assassination, Prince Peter Kropotkin's account of the murder of Czar Alexander II of Russia, and Edward M. Kennedy's eulogy for Robert Kennedy. Assassination is an interesting historical topic, making this a worthy secondary purchase for most high school and public library collections."Booklist

"These two volumes provide a ready resource for those looking for a better understanding of the long-standing role of assassinations in the course of human events and how these murders have changed the course of history."ARBA

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