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Bitter Harvest

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The harrowing story of an American farmer and war hero who murdered three federal marshals and met his own death in a desperate confrontation with the forces of law.
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published May 25th 1990 by Viking Books
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Aaron Meyer
The book covers the background and hunt for Gordon Khal as well as the trial of those who stood with him on that fateful day of the shootout. I would have to say that the author kept it fairly even between the opposing parties in telling their sides. I still to this day believe that Gordon Khal did the right thing and the government was bloodthirsty and completely out of line in their handling of the situation from beginning to end. In fact during those years a number of incidents were handled v ...more
If you're wondering about home-grown terrorism, this book is fascinating. If you're not, you soon will be after you start reading.
Sep 02, 2012 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: true crime fans, students of the far right, mass media news consumers
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: true-crime, politics
This is a rare book that skirts the 2- and 3-star border. Usually, a 2-star book for me is one that fails in some fundamental way, but is still readable. These are pretty distinct from 3-star books, which manage to make their case convincingly, but whose cases don’t strike me as significant enough to make the 4-star cut.

By this definition, journalistic “true crime” books such as this one are almost by definition in the 2-star category, since their purpose is really mostly entertainment, not arg
This book is a good forensic look at the Gordon Kahl case and how a group of extremist rebels who didn't want to pay taxes took a wrong turn into violence. I don't think it truly addressed the birth of paramilitary terrorism in the heartland the way the title said it would, but it did provide a piece of the puzzle. People who feel abandoned by the government will look for other ways to survive. It was a good start to looking at a very deep problem in America.
The story of Gordon Kahl, tax resister and Christian Identity whack job, who ended up in a shootout with U.S. Marshals who attempted to arrest him. Kahl survived and fled, two Marshals were killed and another was seriously wounded as was a deputy sheriff. [return][return]What I found particularly interesting was Corcoran's description of the farm crisis of the 80s and its causes. Financial crisis has a way of pushing some people towards radical political views and groups, expect to see more of t ...more
This was especially interesting since I lived through this era and experienced some of the farm hardship. The author really did a good job of explaining how the characters came to believe the things that they did. Most weren't as fanatical as Gordon but there were some in most communities.
Dave Petsch
Bitter Harvest was easy follow and quite interesting. The shoot out involving Gordon Kaul, beliefs of the Posse Comitatis and the farm foreclosure events leading up the Kaul shootout were well explained. A realistic, if extreme right wing, slice of 80's rural midwest US.
not really my kind of story.
Partridge Public
Corcoran, James
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