Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response” as Want to Read:
Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  540 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The first full account, based on access to key players who have never before spoken, of the Munich Massacre and the Israeli response–a lethal, top secret, thirty-year-long antiterrorism campaign to track down the killers.
1972. The Munich Olympics. Palestinian members of the Black September group murder eleven Israeli athletes. Nine hundred million people watch the crisis u
...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 256 pages
Published December 20th 2005 by Random House
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Striking Back, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Striking Back

Boycott by Jerry CaraccioliRome 1960 by David MaranissTriumph by Jeremy SchaapStriking Silver by Tom CaraccioliChalked Up by Jennifer Sey
The Olympic Games
14th out of 125 books — 71 voters
Moneyball by Michael LewisFriday Night Lights by H.G. BissingerSeabiscuit by Laura HillenbrandThe Blind Side by Michael LewisFever Pitch by Nick Hornby
Top reads for sports fans
462nd out of 576 books — 573 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,053)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ray
Feb 14, 2010 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Striking Back" provides a good background on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict which endures to this day. The book centers on the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of the Israeli olympic team, and details a number of security failings of the Munich authorities which allowed the events to unfold as they did. Klein then tells the story of Israel's policy of preventive assassinations of the leaders of the Black September terrorists wing, using archived files of Israel's security forces. Unfortunately, ...more
Erik
Sep 20, 2013 Erik rated it really liked it
Good introduction to the 1972 Munich Massacre and Israel's response. A lot of this was covered in Spielberg's Munich, though what that movie failed to make explicit is that the retaliation Israel undertook was not against the actual perpetrators of the Munich Massacre, but towards low-level Black September operatives who had tangential ties to the PLO and Fatah. These targets really meant nothing in the wider scheme of things, other than those killed in the infamous Spring of Youth strike in the ...more
Jonathan
Apr 03, 2008 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: recently-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Mar 25, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
For me, the most interesting thing about the book was the first quarter of it, which details the actual events leading up to and including the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics by the Palestinian terror organization Black September. The rest of the book is dedicated to describing various assassination plots by the Mossad (successful and unsuccessful) intended as both revenge and deterrent. (The difference between the actual assassinations and those depicted in Stephen Spie ...more
Janet
Apr 09, 2008 Janet rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans, Students of History
Shockingly, I grew up unaware of the world at large until President Reagan awakened in me a sleeping Patriotism. In trying to understand the War on Terror, events on the timeline of my life scatter to reveal raw edges of dramas played out across the world’s stage. Striking Back details in dry chronology, the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and Israel’s developing response to terror. I was 11 at the time and remember faintly that something had gone wrong at the Olympics. I was totally ignorant, knew ...more
Linda Appelbaum
Aug 14, 2012 Linda Appelbaum rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be completely compelling and fascinating. It was astonishing to learn so many things could have prevented the massacre from happening - better security, someone who at least would listen to a warning about the athletes being place on the ground floor. Other little things made me wonder how things like this happen when it seems so obvious that precautions that should have been taken weren't. The book gives a peek into intelligence and counter-intelligence, the Mosad, the work ...more
Brenton
May 14, 2013 Brenton rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of the horrific massacre of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and of Germany’s incompetence in dealing with terrorist activities at that time. Secondly, it tells the story of the Israeli response to terrorism around the globe since that time and especially the work of the Mossad. Israel has taken a strongly preventative and retaliatory response to terrorism, assassinating suspected terrorists before they strike, and "closing the circle" on the terrorists res ...more
Megan
Apr 19, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been fascinated by the history behind the rise of extremism/terrorism, and its coming to fruition with Black September. What a lot of people may not know, and what this book helps put in perspective is that Palestinian terrorist groups were more secular and nationalistic, then fundamentalist and based in Islam. There is a line in the film adaptation based on the Mossad counterterrorism unit; "Home is everything." I really think that strikes a chord with all groups laying claim to the land o ...more
Tom Schulte
Dec 22, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, in-depth behind the scenes look at the Munich Olympics massacrea and the many years of plotted and accomplishing revenge assassiations by Israel's Mossad. The at times casual application of lethal shooting and explosives - with some collateral damage - comes across as irresponsible to do inthe apartments and streets of Europeans cities, etc.

There is also fascinating details on methods and misfires in this well-researched book.

Good narration.
Tom Schulte
Dec 22, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, in-depth behind the scenes look at the Munich Olympics massacrea and the many years of plotted and accomplishing revenge assassiations by Israel's Mossad. The at times casual application of lethal shooting and explosives - with some collateral damage - comes across as irresponsible to do inthe apartments and streets of Europeans cities, etc.

There is also fascinating details on methods and misfires in this well-researched book.

Good narration.
Susan
Aug 15, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
I've read several other books about the Munich massacre and Black September, but this book lends a different perspective about Israel's handling of both the security at the Olympics and its institutionalized assassinations. The author states that the book won't conclude whether or not these hits were just, but in presenting information that had been locked away in Israeli safes until 2005, he sheds new light on the massacre and its repercussions.
Jerry Smith
Oct 11, 2014 Jerry Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: history, 2014-read
Having lived through the 70s without being old enough to really understand what was going on in that troubled decade, books like this are interesting for the light they throw on that time, particularly as it pertains to international terrorism. That topic has particular resonance today as we go through another period of terrorist atrocities from 9-11 to date.

It is hard now, to remember how prevalent was Palestinian terrorism in the 70s and the frequency of plane hijackings, the lack of security,
...more
Richard Kravitz
Aug 16, 2014 Richard Kravitz rated it really liked it
A pretty good book. I never new how badly West German messed up during the Munich Olympics hostage crisis. The Israelis too, by not providing their own security, but the Germans were despicable in their negligence and refusal to take responsibility. Some of the material was a little confusing with regard to dates and the writing was not particularly detailed and not a lot of history. But a quick read (2-1/2 days) and very informative regarding the assassinations. The Mossad, as efficient as they ...more
Del
Jan 07, 2016 Del rated it really liked it
A great story of how the Israelis went after the people responsible for the slaughter of their athletes in Munich. An exciting story of revenge and vengeance. I enjoyed it a lot.

Listened to the unabridged audiobook on Audible.com.
Rosanne
Mar 30, 2009 Rosanne rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the first part of this book due to the clear explanation of why the crime was committed. I became confused in the second half due to my lack of knowledge of the parties involved in the Isreal/Arab conflicts.
Holly
Feb 26, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing
After being wowed by the movie, Munich, I found this book and really loved it. It is one of those where you are there. Anything Mossad grabs my attention and this book does it anyway on its own merit.
Jon Larson
Jun 02, 2011 Jon Larson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A very good book on the inner workings of the Mossad. What does Israel do when confronted with terror? I would not want to cross them!
Allison
Oct 10, 2009 Allison rated it it was ok
To be fair, the book did seem to be well researched and well written. But, it was not quite what I expected and I did not enjoy reading it and it left me with a sour feeling. The book is about the horrible 72 Munich olympics massacre and Isreal's response (well, no surprise there, that's all in the title). But, I didn't realize that the Massacre probably could have been avoided or at least lessened if the host country had handled things differently. For just one example, one of the guys killed d ...more
Gerald Kinro
Mar 11, 2013 Gerald Kinro rated it liked it
It tells the story, with remarkable detail, the tragedy of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Eleven members of the Israeli delegation were taken hostage and then executed by members of the terror group Black September. It shows the ineptitude of the German officials in handling the situation. From here the Israelis respond with an undercover operation in which combatants are charged with execution orders passed down from each prime minister beginning with Golda Meir. These combatants, or Mossad, ...more
Miguel
Aug 23, 2008 Miguel rated it liked it
This is a difficult story to tell, mainly because reality is much less dramatic than the myth surrounding this episode in history. Firstly, most of the initial assassinations in the wake of Munich were low-level logistical support people who probably were not even involved in the original massacre. On balance, aside from Ali Hassan Salameh, the goal of revenge, as the title "Striking Back" suggests, was never really achieved (and even that his involvement disputed by some of Klein's sources). I ...more
Andy
Jul 31, 2011 Andy rated it liked it
In these days of slanted, emotion-laden, heavy-handed, entertainment-oriented journalism, Klein's book is welcome - it's comparatively dry, only wearing its heart on its sleeve occasionally. It's subtly (there's a word you don't hear much anymore) eye-opening throughout, from its account of the events leading to Black September's massacre of Israel's team of athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, to its discussion of the nature of terrorism in the early 70's (I wasn't aware, for example, that ...more
Dave Scrip
Jan 25, 2015 Dave Scrip rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A fascinating read that is a well written account of the 1972 Munich massacre and Is real' s response to Black September's terrorist acts.
Clayton Lengel-zigich
Feb 12, 2016 Clayton Lengel-zigich rated it really liked it
I was most surprised by how much of this story I did not know. While I knew about the movie "Munich," I did not understand the totality in which the Israeli olympic team was hung out to dry by olympic security and the state police. I had a hard time believing the epic fuck up that was the handling of the terrorists' escape but I was thoroughly entertained at the story telling depicting Mossad's series of missions to bring the perpetrators to justice. More so, I was happy that the author explored ...more
Liz
Oct 06, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Interested in recent history
Shelves: 2008
Before, during and after the 2008 Olympics, I was intrigued to read more about the Munich Olympics Massacre. This book was very compelling, covering the history of Israel and Palestine leading upto the events in Munich. And then of course, the events for many years afterwards. One of the goals of the terrorists that day was to make a statement to the world about the Palestinian plight. Considering that the image of a terrorist on the balcony showed up as a "Memorable Image from a Past Olympics", ...more
Cailean
Jun 28, 2012 Cailean rated it liked it
Dare I say I hoped this book would be more exciting? It sounds like an odd criticism, but I think it obviously lies more in the writing style and tone than in what is actually being described and detailed. I'd read other books about massacre in Munich, so while I understood it needed to be retold in this book for those who didn't know, I wished so much of the book hadn't been about that. I was hoping to learn a lot more about the Mossad's actions after. It felt really dry, however, and written i ...more
Ella Burakowski
Sep 23, 2010 Ella Burakowski rated it liked it
To say that I was more than a little shocked at the mistakes and incompetence of the Israeli government and security would be an understatement. I chose this book after seeing the movie "Munich". The movie delt with the aftermath and payback of the Munich massacre and this book delt with the actual massacre and how the Israeli athletes were put in a risky situation with not much thought to their saftey. To much trust and too much "passing the buck" quashed any chance these men would have had at ...more
Monica
Feb 02, 2008 Monica rated it it was amazing
Eric Bana's hotness inspired me to see Steven Spielberg's Munich, and Munich inspired me to read Striking Back. Munich is based off of a different book (Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorism Team) that puts a rosier spin on the revenge mission following the massacre at the Munich Olympics. Striking Back allows for more reality and talks about how some of these revenge missions had a degree of high fuckery oftentimes. A bit more unbiased. And a good read if you dig the Mossad, ...more
Amanda
3.5 stars - possibly skewed because I just finished One Day in September (which was fantastic) before this book. Wouldn't read this again, but not sorry I read it.
Tom Schulte
Dec 22, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, in-depth behind the scenes look at the Munich Olympics massacrea and the many years of plotted and accomplishing revenge assassiations by Israel's Mossad. The at times casual application of lethal shooting and explosives - with some collateral damage - comes across as irresponsible to do inthe apartments and streets of Europeans cities, etc.

There is also fascinating details on methods and misfires in this well-researched book.

Good narration.
Tom Schulte
Dec 22, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, in-depth behind the scenes look at the Munich Olympics massacrea and the many years of plotted and accomplishing revenge assassiations by Israel's Mossad. The at times casual application of lethal shooting and explosives - with some collateral damage - comes across as irresponsible to do inthe apartments and streets of Europeans cities, etc.

There is also fascinating details on methods and misfires in this well-researched book.

Good narration.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • One Day in September: The Full Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Revenge Operation "Wrath of God"
  • 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East
  • Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb
  • Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team
  • Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad (Updated)
  • Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
  • The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East
  • Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad
  • Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of World War II's OSS
  • 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War
  • Our Man in Tehran: The True Story Behind the Secret Mission to Save Six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Foreign Ambassador Who Worked with the CIA to Bring Them Home
  • Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda
  • The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda
  • Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age
  • Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East
  • The Day We Lost the H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes, and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster in History
  • The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union

Share This Book