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Trujillo: The Death of a Dictator

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On May 30, 1961, a hail of bullets ended the life of Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known to his countrymen as "The Goat" for his many revolting excesses, after thirty-one years of brutal rule over the Dominican Republic. This book is a riveting, minute-by-minute account of the plot to kill Trujillo, who was then the Western Hemisphere's most ruthless dictator, an On May 30, 1961, a hail of bullets ended the life of Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known to his countrymen as "The Goat" for his many revolting excesses, after thirty-one years of brutal rule over the Dominican Republic. This book is a riveting, minute-by-minute account of the plot to kill Trujillo, who was then the Western Hemisphere's most ruthless dictator, and the ferocious wave of revenge that ensued before his regime collapsed. The book also reveals the vacillating role of the United States -- and the CIA -- in first propping up the dictator, and then supplying weapons to slay him. Bernard Diederich knew most of those involved in the plot, and painstakingly recreates the events in a gripping book that reads like a novel, which also offers essential insights into the history of a troubled Caribbean nation.


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On May 30, 1961, a hail of bullets ended the life of Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known to his countrymen as "The Goat" for his many revolting excesses, after thirty-one years of brutal rule over the Dominican Republic. This book is a riveting, minute-by-minute account of the plot to kill Trujillo, who was then the Western Hemisphere's most ruthless dictator, an On May 30, 1961, a hail of bullets ended the life of Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known to his countrymen as "The Goat" for his many revolting excesses, after thirty-one years of brutal rule over the Dominican Republic. This book is a riveting, minute-by-minute account of the plot to kill Trujillo, who was then the Western Hemisphere's most ruthless dictator, and the ferocious wave of revenge that ensued before his regime collapsed. The book also reveals the vacillating role of the United States -- and the CIA -- in first propping up the dictator, and then supplying weapons to slay him. Bernard Diederich knew most of those involved in the plot, and painstakingly recreates the events in a gripping book that reads like a novel, which also offers essential insights into the history of a troubled Caribbean nation.

30 review for Trujillo: The Death of a Dictator

  1. 5 out of 5

    Randy Feliz

    Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the Trujillo era and his assassination are discussed in great detail. However, I loved how much detail was covered in this book around the plotting, the assassination attempt, and the aftermath of the events. From the very first page, I was glued to the story. If you're interested in Dominican history and interested in the events surrounding the death of Trujillo, give this book a read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Solis

    Death, death and more death. Diederich created a very insightful book in writing The Death of The Dictator, and his attention to details in times, places and names is an example of his journalistic ability. Trujillo was a madman, he was an unapologetic dictator who refused to bend for anyone, even in his death and assassination. The stories of the assassins were hell and in particular, Antonio De La Maza’s involvement from the day his brother was killed to the day he himself was killed after he Death, death and more death. Diederich created a very insightful book in writing The Death of The Dictator, and his attention to details in times, places and names is an example of his journalistic ability. Trujillo was a madman, he was an unapologetic dictator who refused to bend for anyone, even in his death and assassination. The stories of the assassins were hell and in particular, Antonio De La Maza’s involvement from the day his brother was killed to the day he himself was killed after he took Trujillo’s life. Dominican history will forever be marked by Trujillo’s actions over the course of 30+ years, and this book did an exemplary job at showing how. The decades in which he ruled arguably still have lingering effects, and to know Diederich spoke with those involved firsthand is fascinating and evident in his writings. My only complaint was the focus on less than relevant details relating to the people involved. In some chapters, more plot and less unnecessary details on irrelevant people would’ve been better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    I’m surprised that this story, and this book specifically, are not more well known. Grippingly told. Gritty and intimate in detail. Ought to be a film.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Reid

    One of the most chilling books I've ever read and none of it fictional...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fausto Betances

    This is a very intense compilation of the facts, and circumstances of one unbelievably cruel dictatorship and the conditions that helped perpetuate it. As a Dominican born after Trujillo's Era, I'm very glad and thankful that someone, in this case Mr. Diederich having been in such a prominent position as a reporter stationed in the Caribbean during the Trujillo's regime, decided to put together all the information he had access to. This book is an amazing source of information for those who wond This is a very intense compilation of the facts, and circumstances of one unbelievably cruel dictatorship and the conditions that helped perpetuate it. As a Dominican born after Trujillo's Era, I'm very glad and thankful that someone, in this case Mr. Diederich having been in such a prominent position as a reporter stationed in the Caribbean during the Trujillo's regime, decided to put together all the information he had access to. This book is an amazing source of information for those who wonder why such a cruel dictatorship lasted so long, and why so many atrocities went unpunished until after the death of the dictator.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mayra Cruz Ortega

    This was a very interesting book about a time of turmoil for Dominican Republic when their Generalisimo was assassinated. I could not put it down.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rozanne

    I thought this was going to be a biography of Trujillo, but it's really more of a blow-by-blow account of the events that led up to his assassination.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Pérez

  11. 5 out of 5

    Greg Pimentel

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  13. 5 out of 5

    JC

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jose

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lance Aksamit

  16. 5 out of 5

    E.j. Rios

  17. 5 out of 5

    A. Lewis

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy A

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yvan Ysla

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Melo

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Heredia

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele Wucker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sean Ryan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Roach

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julio Miller

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Gonzalez

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bernardino Rosario

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