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Pan Am 103: The Bombing, the Betrayals, and a Bereaved Family's Search for Justice Hardcover – June 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0756758097 ISBN-10: 0756758092 Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, USA; 1ST edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756758092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756758097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Cohen is the author of numerous nonfiction books on ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. He lives in Mt. Kisco, New York.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

When I initially began reading this book I felt compassion for the Cohens.
Becky
It's like the Cohens don't even want to acknowledge the larger global-political environment that the USA has to operate in, all they care about is their daughter.
Rick Hover
The book does have its strong moments, however, and there are times when the anger that the writers convey works.
L. Piatkowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Baumann on October 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I usually don't write book reviews unless I get paid for it. So why this exception? For two reasons:
First and foremost, I want you to read "PAN AM 103". The authors are the parents of Theodora ("Theo") Cohen, a then twenty-year old performing arts student that was on board the airplane that exploded over the little Scottish town Lockerbie on 21 December 1988. 270 people were killed. The Cohens try to put into words the agony they have been experiencing from the moment they first learned about the crash up until this minute. They describe how various victims groups, "the grief industry", pills and psychobabble, and the justice system frustrated them, and demonstrate how nobody in the travel industry or in four US administrations "gives a damn what happened to [their] daughter" whenever the possibility of large profits appears on the horizon. Nobody having read this book will forget the face Susan and Daniel Cohen have put on the PAN AM 103 tragedy, Theo's face.
The second reason is to comment on some of the themes of other reviews.

"It is a pointless rant with no technical, operational, or analytical detail."
That is how you make yourself look like the sharp analytical mind you wish you would be, if you only could understand context and contents of a book.
"Hatred, vengeance, and bitterness are emotions that are more poisonous than cyanide. And the Cohens certainly prove that."
Of course, there will always be people who put on a smile after their head has been dipped into a toilet bowl - a North-American tradition. There are times, however, when the only thing that is left is being true to oneself, no more need to conceal emotions, to work out compromises.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about Lockerbie and the tragedy and as a British Citizen I can recall exactly what I was doing when the news came over the tv that Pan Am 103 had crashed.
Lockerbie at the time had the smallest police force in the whole of the United Kingdom. Scottish police and volunteers and armed forces readily abandoned their families over Christmas in order to assist in the devastation that fell on the small town of Lockerbie that night. Many police officers had nervous breakdowns due to the gruesome tasks that they had to perform . Scottish housewifes abandoned their families and Christmas celebrations as a mark of respect and willingly washed the soiled clothes of the deceased so that relatives could be spared further anguish when collecting the remaining personal effects. The whole town came to a standstill and Lockerbie too lost innocent residents when the plane fell. How dare Susan Cohen disregard what happened to those townsfolk whose children woke up in the morning to see dead bodies laying in their street and strewn across the neighbouring fields ? Nothing will ever replace Theo and as an only child her loss must be devastating to her parents. I am sure the book was written in bitterness and frustration due to the immense sense of loss and anger at the preventable unecessary murder. I too felt compassion for the grieving Cohens as they expressed their anger in the first half of the book. But like other readers I felt the Cohens let themselves down by insulting anyone and everyone who did not comply with their wishes or appeared to be inferior. It is a shame that the book will be remembered for its bitter snarling attack on the town that offered their daughter as much dignity as was possible.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all, let me say that I feel for the Cohens. This was a very bitter tradegy for them.
I had a hard time getting through this book, and evenually returned it to the bookstore. The reason is that the Cohens are very bitter toward everyone who has tried to help them.
They are bitter at Pan Am, the Reagan, Bush, and subsequent Clinton administrations, the town of Lockerbie, and other families that suffered similar losses. I guess maybe they will be bitter all their life, but for people to read all this bitterness is perhaps a bit much. Some of these people are as much a victim of the bomb as their daughter was, but yet life goes on.
Pan Am was a victim of the bomb and went out of business as an indirect result of it. The Cohens rejoice when the airline goes out of business. Thousands of people lose their job, and they rejoice. Why?
Other families disagree with their methods. They accuse them of money grubbing. Sad!
The town of Lockerbie doesn't choose to honor the loss as the Cohens want, and they become more bitter.
When I die, I hope my loved ones move on with their lives. I hope the Cohens can get over their bitterness, but I doubt this.
If the reader wants to do some selective reading, read bits and pieces of this book. It will inform them of the tragedy of terrorism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Piatkowski on July 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book details the struggle two parents faced when dealing with the aftermath of their daughter's death in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103.

The disaster undestandably embittered the Cohens, and their anger translates well onto the pages -- too well. For the most part, the Cohens' writing is laced with stinging contempt at anyone who disagreed with their way of thinking. They are justifiably angry at the lack of proportional help from the Bush, Reagan and Clinton Administrations in seeking justice for the victims; but too often the Cohens deride and attack other victims' families, as well.

Also unsatisfactory is the Cohens' glossing over the incident of a commercial airline being downed by the US as a possible motive. There is no sympathy for those victims, and the Cohens write as if their daughter was the sole victim of the tragedy.

The book does have its strong moments, however, and there are times when the anger that the writers convey works. Also good is the debunking of the "noble victim" myth -- the kind where one would assume that somone becomes a "better person" after a tragedy like this -- The Cohens vehemently oppose this persona and eschew it, in favor of a more strident, outspoken guise, which is more difficult to take -- and rightly so.
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