An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

For many Americans, the age of terrorism in the United States began on September 11, 2001. But that was just another chapter in a longer story.

Julie Salamon’s richly reported new book, An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer—a riveting examination of what could be called the first war on terrorism—shows, long before the internet, the extraordinary ripple effects of our globally connected world, as well as the price three families paid for a single act.

On October 3, 1985, a disabled Jewish New Yorker named Leon Klinghoffer and his wife boarded an Italian luxury cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, to celebrate their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary on the Mediterranean Sea with friends. Four days later, four Palestinian fedayeen hijacked the ship and took the passengers and crew hostage. Leon Klinghoffer was shot in the head, his body and wheelchair thrown overboard. His murder became a flashpoint in the struggle between Israelis and Arabs, a major turning point for the Reagan administration, and offered Americans a horrifying preview of what it means when terrorism hits home.

Julie Salamon, a seasoned reporter and storyteller penetrates the mythology that has grown around this shattering moment. This single act of terrorism brought on an international crisis and, as An Innocent Bystander reveals, went on to be captured in popular culture, inspiring a controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer.

Salamon traveled to Lebanon, Israel, Italy, and elsewhere around the globe to conduct research, completing more than 80 interviews with almost all living participants, including one of the hijackers. Hear details of an extraordinary investigation into one episode in the long history of terrorism, including its aftermath, and will help us better understand the tangled web of our current geopolitical fraught state of affairs.

A book signing follows the event.











When: Tue., Feb. 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Where: 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Ave.
212-415-5500
Price: $29.00
Buy tickets/get more info now
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For many Americans, the age of terrorism in the United States began on September 11, 2001. But that was just another chapter in a longer story.

Julie Salamon’s richly reported new book, An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer—a riveting examination of what could be called the first war on terrorism—shows, long before the internet, the extraordinary ripple effects of our globally connected world, as well as the price three families paid for a single act.

On October 3, 1985, a disabled Jewish New Yorker named Leon Klinghoffer and his wife boarded an Italian luxury cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, to celebrate their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary on the Mediterranean Sea with friends. Four days later, four Palestinian fedayeen hijacked the ship and took the passengers and crew hostage. Leon Klinghoffer was shot in the head, his body and wheelchair thrown overboard. His murder became a flashpoint in the struggle between Israelis and Arabs, a major turning point for the Reagan administration, and offered Americans a horrifying preview of what it means when terrorism hits home.

Julie Salamon, a seasoned reporter and storyteller penetrates the mythology that has grown around this shattering moment. This single act of terrorism brought on an international crisis and, as An Innocent Bystander reveals, went on to be captured in popular culture, inspiring a controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer.

Salamon traveled to Lebanon, Israel, Italy, and elsewhere around the globe to conduct research, completing more than 80 interviews with almost all living participants, including one of the hijackers. Hear details of an extraordinary investigation into one episode in the long history of terrorism, including its aftermath, and will help us better understand the tangled web of our current geopolitical fraught state of affairs.

A book signing follows the event.

Buy tickets/get more info now