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Who killed George Polk? : the press covers up a death in the family /
Elias Vlanton, with Zak Mettger.
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1996.
xiv, 322 p. : ill.
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Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1996.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1996-02-01:
The 1948 murder of journalist George Polk has attracted new attention in recent years. Serious questions have been raised about the original verdict, that Greek Communists killed the reporter. Two recent books, Edmund Keeley's The Salonika Bay Murder (LJ 6/1/89) and Kati Marton's The Polk Conspiracy (LJ 8/90), offer alternative and separate solutions. In this third book, Vlanton, who has devoted 19 years to studying the evidence and investigations of the Polk murder, proposes yet another solution to the mystery. Vlanton places a large share of the blame for what he considers a manufactured conviction on the failure of the American press to investigate the Polk murder independently. He makes impressive use of primary sources, and curious readers following the Polk case will appreciate the extensive notes supporting the arguments. Libraries with the earlier Polk books will want to add this one to their collections.‘Judy Solberg, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1995-12-18:
This so-called exposé by two freelancers is ultimately unsatisfactory because it concludes that ``there is still no certainty about who killed George Polk.'' Polk, a CBS correspondent in Greece, was murdered in Salonika in 1948, at a time when that country, still ravaged by the WWII Nazi occupation, was torn by a civil war between a fascistic government and a communist guerrilla army in the hills. Polk reported the weaknesses of each side even though the U.S. had just enunciated the Truman Doctrine of aid to Greece and Turkey to keep them from becoming communist. When his murder was attributed to the left, Salonika authorities tortured and otherwise coerced people into confessing. Although the killing may never be solved, the book has value in showing how the U.S. government can use the press as an instrument of policy and how the press in this case allowed itself to be steamrollered. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, December 1995
Library Journal, February 1996
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Unpaid Annotation
Reconstructing the murder, investigation, trial, and aftermath, Who Killed George Polk? offers a penetrating analysis of the willingness of the American media - including CBS and a committee of prominent journalists headed by Walter Lippmann - to accept the government's version of events despite numerous inconsistencies. The book also explores the fate of the handful of journalists who had questioned the original coverup and shows that even when additional developments turned the official version on its head, they were no longer in a position to press for a new investigation. All had become victims of anticommunist witchhunts. Arguing that the mainstream media and U.S. government were so blinded by cold war political considerations that they overlooked the most obvious culprits for the Polk murder, Elias Vlanton proves that Polk was likely killed neither by the communists, as originally charged, nor by corrupt Greek government officials, as claimed by a recent book and a CBS 60 Minutes broadcast.Instead, based on evidence uncovered during Vlanton's nineteen-year investigation of the case, the author presents the only plausible scenario of how and why Polk was murdered.

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