An Assassin's Diary

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An Assassin's Diary (ISBN 0-06-120470-6) is a book written by Arthur Bremer and Harding Lemay. released in 1973 which was based on part of the diary of Bremer, the would-be assassin of Alabama Governor George Wallace. Bremer shot Wallace at the Laurel Shopping Center in Laurel, Maryland, while Wallace was making his third campaign for President on May 15, 1972.

In the book, Bremer says that he was not particularly opposed to Wallace's political agenda, which many had branded as white supremacist, but his primary motive was to become famous, and that he had also stalked President Richard M. Nixon.

Paul Schrader was partly inspired by Bremer's diary when he wrote the screenplay for the 1976 film Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese. Peter Gabriel's 1980 song "Family Snapshot," from Peter Gabriel (III) was inspired by An Assassin's Diary.[1]

Debate over authorship[edit]

In Gore Vidal's essay titled "The Art and Arts of E. Howard Hunt",[2] Vidal assesses Bremer's writing style and notes the apparent contradiction between Bremer's lucid prose and his characterization as a person with a mediocre intellect. Vidal's essay juxtaposes the arrival of CIA agent and hardboiled novelist E. Howard Hunt at Bremer's apartment within hours of Wallace's assassination to the "avant-garde" prose later found in Bremer's diary. Vidal's loose hypothesis is that Bremer's writing was too good for a janitor with an average I.Q., but not beyond the skill of a writer such as Hunt. Vidal concludes that Bremer's diary unexpectedly had the characteristics of professional writing, such as the heavy use of irony.


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