Book Review: Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family

every_last_tieFrom 1978 to 1995, an unknown American domestic terrorist waged a bombing rampage targeting those involved with modern technology. Dubbed the “Unabomber” by the mainstream media, the anarchist’s homemade devices would claim three lives and injure 23 others over a 17-year span.

The Unabomber’s reign of terror came to an end in April 1996, when Ted Kaczynski, a former assistant university professor, mathematics prodigy and Harvard graduate, was arrested at his cabin in rural Montana. Inside the lodge, investigators discovered an abundance of bomb components, what appeared to be an original typed manuscript of a manifesto published by The Washington Post and The New York Times and one bomb ready for mailing, leaving little doubt as to the identity of the Unabomber.

Following Kaczynski’s apprehension, it was revealed that his younger brother, David, was responsible for the identification and arrest of the Unabomber after David’s wife became suspicious that Kaczynski could be the one behind the bomb attacks. Kaczynski pleaded guilty in 1998 to all of the government’s charges against him and received eight life sentences without the possibility of parole.

David Kaczynski has penned a memoir titled Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family. Released earlier this year by Duke University Press, the book details Kaczynski family life, David’s often tumultuous relationship with Ted during adulthood and the difficulties of living under mainstream media pressure following he and his wife Linda’s angst-ridden decision to notify authorities of their suspicions that Ted was the Unabomber.

Kaczynski, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, former youth shelter assistant director and anti-death penalty advocate, is a well-spoken author whose anguish while wrestling with his suspicions of Ted is painfully clear within the pages of Every Last Tie. Essentially estranged from his brother since 1990, the reader can’t help but feel David maintains some hope of a reconciliation one day.

Included in Every Last Tie is twenty pages of Kaczynski family photographs (courtesy of David) and an afterword by psychiatry professor and forensic psychiatrist James L. Knoll IV. At 141 pages, the book is an easy and compelling read.

Every Last Tie is available for purchase on Amazon at this link or via the Duke University Press website here.

(Special thanks to Duke University Press)

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