From Publishers Weekly
On September 22, 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill President Gerald Ford. Investigative journalist Spieler traces the unlikely assassin's convoluted path as the suburban housewife who abandoned her children meandered through relationships, marriages and careers ranging from bookkeeping to political activist turned FBI informant. Moore assumed varied personas, a skill she first displayed as an actress in high school. Despite three decades of contact with Moore, Spieler admits she still cannot explain what led Moore to attempt to kill Ford. But Spieler offers a portrait of an erratic, unstable woman with a protean capacity to shift identities, with the 1960s and '70s as a dramatic backdrop. Fans of true crime accounts or contemporary history will savor this portrait of the first woman to make an assassination attempt on an American president. (Jan. 12)
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"It is the obligation of the thoughtful journalist to tell us something meaningful that we don't already know. In Taking Aim at the President, Geri Spieler is more than up to the task. The byzantine tale of Sara Jane Moore's double, triple and quadruple lives, with so many bizarre groups -- including the federal government -- exploiting her vulnerabilities, is the stuff of Hollywood fiction. The fact that it's all true, and told with precision by Spieler, raises Sara Jane's story to something significantly more than a footnote to history." --Alan Weisman, author of Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle, The Kingdom, the Power & the End of Empire in America and Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather
Journalist Geri Spieler met would-be assassin Sara Jane Moore while she was in prison; Taking Aim at the President is based on over two decades of interviews as well as independant research. Focusing on the complex psychology and motivations of a quintessentially desperate housewife and the only woman to ever fire a bullet at an American president, Spieler delivers a nuanced portrait of an elusive person and a fascinating glimpse back at a turbulent period in American history." --GoodBooks Review, December 20, 2008
Did you know? Because we didn't: In 1975, 45-year-old Sara Jane Moore became the only woman ever to fire a bullet at a U.S. president. What's more, she did it in San Francisco, right in front of the St. Francis Hotel. (Epilogue: She was paroled early last year.)
In Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford, author and onetime Moore confidante Geri Spieler draws a fairly straightforward map of the facts.
Moore was intensely crazy in a million ways, but the story is written in the voice of a trained and responsible journalist, not a tabloid screech. Spieler's understanding of radical left-wing politics is distractingly lame -- Moore was deeply involved in a number of Bay Area groups -- but otherwise, the book is pretty hard to put down.
By Hiya Swanhuyser --San Francisco Weekly- January 22, 2009