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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Calvin Coolidge and Randy Jurgensen, on the Value of Persistence

By Nicholas Stix

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge

Quoted by a very persistent man, retired NYPD detective Randy Jurgensen, as the motto of his book, Circle of Six: The True Story of New York’s Most Notorious Cop Killer, and the Cop Who Risked Everything to Catch Him.

Circle of Six is about the April 14, 1972, premeditated, ambush murder by Min. Louis Farrakahan’s followers, in the latter’s Harlem mosque, of white NYPD patrolman Phillip Cardillo, as well as the campaign of ambush assassinations of (mostly white) policemen by the black supremacist, Black Liberation Army.

Most of even my readers will not be familiar with the Mosque Murder. And that is no accident. It has largely been “disappeared” from the historical record. And if not for Randy Jurgensen and a few other chroniclers, such as historian Vincent Cannato, in The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York, I wouldn’t know about this racial atrocity, either.

(I don’t get Cannato’s title, either. A more accurate one would have been, John Lindsay and His Struggle to Destroy New York. But the title notwithstanding, it’s an excellent book.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've just started reading Randy Jurgensen's "Circle of Six." I was aware of the Mosque murder but had never studied it.

Randy Jurgensen was one of the talking heads on the ID Channel's Career Girls episode. I looked him up and discovered the book which I just obtained.

Yes, the Mosque murder of 1972 has been disappeared. Jurgensen was unable to get a major publisher.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

I've finished "Circle of Six." In an Afterward dated Summer 2007, Randy Jurgensen wrote that a "successful, passionate, Hollywood writer and producer" had acquired the rights to the book.

So far there is no sign of a film about this story.

David In TN