A tale of terrorism, espionage, and an epic struggle for justice in an
America on the verge, sparked by a massive and mysterious explosion in
New York Harbor in 1916.
That year, while the Allied and Central
forces waged war in Europe, a group of German saboteurs blew up Black
Tom Island, a spit of land in New York harbor within earshot of downtown
Manhattan. The subsequent hail of missiles and gunpowder devastated
much of lower New York City. The attack, so massive that as far away as
Maryland people could feel the ground shake, had been shockingly easy.
America was crisscrossed with networks of German agents, hiding in full
daylight, an “enemy within” plotting further, deadlier attacks. All the
way up to the president, officials had known something like this could
happen, and yet nothing had been done.
Twenty years later, the
German government had still managed to evade responsibility for the
crime, and probably would have continued to, were it not for the
determination of three lawyers named McCloy, Peaslee, and Martin. These
men, most crucially the young John McCloy, made it their mission to
solve a mystery that began during the First World War and barely ended
before the second.
The Detonators is a fascinating portrait
of these men and their time, an era in which the rising American
establishment engaged the world. It is also the dramatic love story of
John and Ellen McCloy, and the first full accounting of a crime and
cover-up that resonates strongly in post-9/11 America. Download and start listening now!