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STRIKING BACK: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel’s Deadly Response

Aaron J. Klein

Nonfiction, 2005

In riveting detail, Aaron Klein tells the full story of the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which eleven Israeli athletes and coaches were taken hostage, kidnapped and ultimately massacred by members of the Black September group, a Palestinian terrorist organization. Klein describes the mistakes and the incompetence that enabled these brutal murders to take place, as well as the botched rescue attempt at the Munich airport. Klein then examines the Israeli response, the series of assassinations carried out by the Mossad, and Israel’s ensuing broader counter-terrorism campaign. In this gripping and well-researched book, Klein describes how Israel developed its counter-terror capabilities.  STRIKING BACK offers readers a remarkable learning experience: a knowledgeable look at long-held secrets and a deep understanding of counter-terrorism strategy and tactics.


Rights Sold:

Australia, Scribe; Czech Republic, Prah; Germany, Der Spiegel; Israel, Miskal; Japan, Kadokawa Shoten; Korea, Golden Owl; Macedonia, Matica Makedonska; Slovakia, Slovensky Spisovatel; UK, Vintage/RH; USA, Random House


“This is a thriller, a page-turner, a probing look into the inner workings of the assassination squads that Israel mobilized after the Munich massacre.” – David K. Shipler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Arab and Jew

“Gratitude is due to Mr. Klein for his painstaking . . . book, the best one could possibly hope for.” –Walter Lacquer, The Wall Street Journal

“Much of this story is about retribution, and about the impossibility of exacting it in any meaningful or even accurate way. "Striking Back" is more than a litany of revenge killings, but it describes the furtive plotting that went into some of the best-known events of this kind…[Klein] penetrates the workings of the elite secret Mossad unit code-named Caesarea, which was mobilized to stalk perpetrators of the Munich massacre.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A drama-filled look at the murders and Israeli reprisals.” – Billy Heller, New York Post (“Required Reading”)

“A real thriller that will unnerve as much as it captivates.” – Laurence Washington, Rocky Mountain News

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