On a stifling afternoon in September 1901, a young anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, waits in line to meet President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. Czolgosz’s right hand is wrapped in a handkerchief and held across his chest as though it were in a sling. But the handkerchief conceals a .32-caliber revolver. When the president greets him, Czolgosz fires two shots. The nation quickly plummets into fear and anger. A week later, a rioting mob attempts to lynch McKinley’s assassin, and across the country, political dissidents such as the notorious Emma Goldman are arrested. Driven by a sense of duty and his love for a beautiful Russian prostitute, Czolgosz’s confidant, Moses Hyde, infiltrates an anarchist group as it sets in motion a deadly scheme designed to push the country into a state of terror. The Anarchist brilliantly renders a haunting and belligerent twentieth-century landscape teeming with corrupt politicians, dissidents, and immigrants eager for a fresh start in an America where every allegiance is questioned, and every hope and aspiration comes at a price.