Maracin, Paul R. 1922-

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Maracin, Paul R. 1922-


Born February 19, 1922, in San Diego, CA; son of Mark (a commercial fisherman) and Mary Maracin; married July 6, 1956; wife's name Kathryn M. (a bank teller and loan assistant); children: Paula Maracin-Krieg. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Attended high school in San Diego, CA. Politics: Independent. Religion: Protestant.


Home—San Diego, CA.


Military pay supervisor in San Diego, CA, 1941-56; criminal investigator, San Diego, 1956-83; freelance writer, 1983—. Lou Reda Productions, historical consultant and onscreen commentator for a television special based on The Night of the Long Knives.


The Night of the Long Knives: Forty-eight Hours That Changed the History of the World, Lyons Press (Guilford, CT), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including Wall Street Journal and Kit Kat Review.


Paul R. Maracin told CA: "Why do I write? I have always been fascinated with words, dating back to the days I first learned how to read and write as a child. My first experience in 'eye-opening' reading was when I discovered newspapers as a youngster, and as a result I have always been an inveterate newspaper reader. Simply put, reading is my hobby, and I'll probably never catch up on my reading.

"During my twenty-seven years as a district attorney's criminal investigator, I preferred to personally type my reports, using a manual typewriter. I still use one, to the consternation of my computer-oriented acquaintances. If I had to name one writer who influenced my work as a writer, I would probably select H.L. Mencken, who was a master of the English language and a wordsmith par excellence. I also admired the style of the contentious columnist Westbrook Pegler, a sportswriter from days of yore who transfigured into a political pundit.

"As a freelance writer I have mainly concentrated on articles and have written on a wide range of subjects: history, the criminal justice system, sports, movies. My topics have covered a broad spectrum. For example, my essay on sports nicknames appeared in the Wall Street Journal, while my piece on the Algonquin Round Table was published in the literary journal Kit Kat Review.

"My nonfiction book, The Night of the Long Knives: Forty-eight Hours That Changed the History of the World, was my first foray into a book-length project. I wanted to write a history book that was not structured in the usual history book format. It seemed to me that many of our history books were turgidly composed, permeated with interminable and distracting endnotes. I wanted to compress relevant material into a concise chronicle, with a popular rather than academic style of writing, so as to target a general readership. Someone once said that when writing a book the author should omit the parts that readers skip over, and that was my goal in creating my book. I selected Hitler's blood purge of 1934 as the subject of the book because I considered this event the most significant single episode in his rise to a position of absolute power; in a mere forty-eight hours he effectively eliminated all meaningful opposition within the borders of Germany. It was the prelude to the Holocaust and the precursor of what was to follow on a much larger and frightening scale. In effect, it set the stage for World War II. Oddly, the event had received relatively scant focus from historians. I wanted to rectify that oversight."



Powell's Books, (May 8, 2006), publisher's description of The Night of the Long Knives: Forty-eight Hours That Changed the History of the World,