The Moro Affair seems like an oddly lighthearted name for a book about the kidnapping of a prime minister that ended in his murder. I was dimly aware of these events when they happened in the late 1970s, but my knowledge of the violent fringe group, The Red Brigades, was limited to newspaper headlines, Anarchy Comics, and various hipster cultural references of the time. Leonardo Sciasica’s examination of the case is weird, confusing, and not all that illuminating, adjectives that are frequently applied to the case and other tortured explanations of it.
Moro was at the helm of the Italian government when the Christian Democrats made historic overtures to the communists to form a stable government. Kissinger was not happy. Moro was on record as being in favor of swapping prisoners to save lives when confronted by terrorists: Why did his own party refuse to save his life? Was he sacrificed? For what, by whom? Was there CIA involvement? Were the Italian police bureaus severely disorganized and incompetent, or were darker forces at work?