Author and journalist John P. Davidson joined BookTrib to talk about THE OBEDIENT ASSASSIN: A Novel Based on a True Story. Based on 10 years of meticulous research, Davidson recreates the story of a man at a crossroads of modern history. Viewers came question ready, and you can also enter to win a copy of his latest novel.


Aired LIVE February 5, 2014: 4:00 PM (ET)

The Obedient Assassin Cover

Ramón Mercader was plucked from the front of the Spanish Civil War by the Soviets and conscripted to murder the great in­tellectual, Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik Revolution who was exiled in the 1920’s for opposing Joseph Stalin.

As Ramon is trained for the task and assumes a new identity, he lives a lush life in Paris, befriending Frida Kahlo and other artists of the time. He falls in love with a left-leaning Jewish woman whom he is ordered to seduce as a means of getting at Trotsky.

From Barcelona to Paris and New York to Mexico City, the group controlling Ramón – including Ramón’s mother and her lover – guides the assassin on the inevitable resolution of his grim task as he must penetrate Trotsky’s compound.

JOHN P. DAVIDSON is the author of the cover story of the January 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine. He began writing for Texas Monthly in 1976, and in 1980 published the expose, The Long Road North (Doubleday).  He subsequently received a NEA grant and the Penney-Missouri Prize for Excellence in Journalism. He has held senior editorial positions at The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Texas Monthly, Vanity Fair, and the San Antonio Express-News.  He edited Texas Architect and writes frequently about culture, society and politics. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to GQ, Fortune, Mirabella, Elle, House & Garden, Preservation, and Mexico Business. He taught English at the Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico.