The Chicago Syndicate: Books

Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer #BTKConfession

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer.

In 1974, Dennis Rader stalked and murdered a family of four in Wichita, Kansas. Since adolescence, he had read about serial killers and imagined becoming one. Soon after killing the family, he murdered a young woman and then another, until he had ten victims. He named himself “B.T.K.” (bind, torture, kill) and wrote notes that terrorized the city. He remained on the loose for thirty years. No one who knew him guessed his dark secret. He nearly got away with his crimes, but in 2004, he began to play risky games with the police. He made a mistake.

When he was arrested, Rader’s family, friends, and coworkers were shocked to discover that B.T.K. had been among them, going to work, raising his children, and acting normal. This case stands out both for the brutal treatment of victims and for the ordinary public face that Rader, a church council president, had shown to the outside world. Through jailhouse visits, telephone calls, and written correspondence, Katherine Ramsland worked with Rader himself to analyze the layers of his psyche. Using his drawings, letters, interviews, and Rader’s unique codes, she presents in meticulous detail the childhood roots and development of one man’s motivation to stalk, torture, and kill. She reveals aspects of the dark motivations of this most famous of living serial killers that have never before been revealed. In this book Katherine Ramsland presents an intelligent, original, and rare glimpse into the making of a serial killer and the potential darkness that lives next door.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Coming to #Hulu - The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Chicago World's Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson @exlarson #Chicago

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true tale of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the cunning serial killer who used the magic and majesty of the fair to lure his victims to their death.

“Relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel .... It doesn’t hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction.” —The New York Times


Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, draws the reader into the enchantment of the Guilded Age, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Check out - What Next, Chicago?: Notes of a Pissed-Off Native Son - by Matt Rosenberg @ChicagoSkooled #Chicago

In the fall of 2020, amidst riots, looting, and an alarming uptick in senseless killings, journalist Matt Rosenberg returns to his native Chicago to see if the city can dig itself out of the hot mess it’s become after decades of liberal governance.

Our nation’s big cities are broken. Urban progressive government badly undermines those it claims to lift up. Matt Rosenberg lived in Chicago for thirty years, and came back to live there again amidst the turmoil of 2020. What Next, Chicago?: Notes of a Pissed-Off Native Son, exposes the roots of Chicago’s violent crime, failing courts and schools, rotten finances, and ongoing Black exodus, and proposes a rescue plan for this emblematic American city.

“What has happened to Chicago? That’s Matt Rosenberg’s question, and mine as well. His loving tribute to our hometown is a moving, sensitive, humane, and trenchant critical assessment. Read it and weep.” —Glenn C. Loury, Professor of the Social Sciences at Brown University, and author of One by One from the Inside Out : Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America.


“Matt Rosenberg writes about the Chicago Way in the Chicago Style of a Mike Royko…. It’s a coherent, honest, and balanced tour of the city’s perpetual corruption, unsafe streets, gawd-awful schools, ghost neighborhoods, financial legerdemain, and the false Unified Theory of Systemic Racism that cloaks it all. Yet, What Next, Chicago? is no helpless, hopeless wail, but a powerful and useful roadmap for a rebirth of a once-great city, based on the voices of Black families and others who don’t need academia to know what to do. Must reading for Chicago lovers.” —Dennis Byrne, former Chicago Sun-Times editorial board member.



Monday, December 06, 2021

Chicago: An Illustrated Timeline

Located along a lazy, swampy slow-moving river, in a sea of prairie grasses as far as the eye could see along its flat plain, Chicago unexpectedly arose as a thriving, prosperous city. Chicago’s story is one of meeting challenges over and over again. From its inauspicious location, the city developed as a trading location, a transportation hub for the emerging new United States of America, and a magnet for immigrants seeking jobs and a new lifestyle.

In its history, it rose from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire, spotlighted its own success at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and birthed and nurtured the American architectural phenomenon, the skyscraper. With vignettes and photography, Chicago: An Illustrated Timeline, follows the Chicago story from its trading post beginnings to its role as a possible American megacity. Using chronology as its structure, the timeline unveils events that are happily remembered, such as the two world’s fairs held in Chicago or the Cubs’ winning the World Series, and those that often are not talked about, such as the Race Riots of 1919 or the Influenza of 1918. Guided by historical figures from various areas of life, first settler Jean Baptiste DuSable, Mayor Richard J. Daley, or Muddy Waters the book covers all aspects of Chicago life, from art and architecture, to craft beer and restaurants to sports. It also tracks the history of architectural styles, the growth of the immigrant communities, and the development of Chicago-style politics.

Join author and Chicago tour guide Ellen Shubart on this detail-packed, visual journey through one of America’s most iconic cities.


Friday, September 24, 2021

Deconstructing the Rat Pack: Joey, The Mob, and the Summit #LasVegas

In celebration of the Rat Pack's 60th anniversary comes an amazing, historical, and wild ride of a tome called "Deconstructing The Rat Pack: Joey, The Mob and the Summit."

For 28 consecutive nights in February 1960, a dusty town called Las Vegas became the epicenter of the world. All eyes were on the party happening at the Sands Hotel and Casino, the new headquarters for the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Dubbed by many as “The Rat Pack,” “The Clan” and “The Summit”—Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford gave those lucky audiences an entertainment experience, the likes of which will never be seen again.

This explosive tell-all book brings the inside scoop of how the mob, the future president, and five popular performers took the world (Las Vegas and Hollywood with the film Ocean’s 11 ) by storm.

You will read exclusive interviews with the participants themselves, including assorted wise guys Moe Dalitz, Carl Cohen (a relative of the author’s), Mickey Cohen, and Max Diamond (a longtime employee of the author’s liquidation business)—and show business luminaries Jack Entratter, Nancy Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, Buddy Hackett, and many, many more.

And what makes this story of the Rat Pack so unique is that it is taken from the perspective of the group’s last surviving member, Joey Bishop, who sat for numerous interviews with the author.

The New York Post, Closer Magazine, and the London Daily Express are among those already singing the praises of “Deconstructing the Rat Pack” by calling it a “A Book That Busts The Rat Pack Myth and a “Must Have.”



Monday, August 09, 2021

Murder in Canaryville: The True Story Behind a Cold Case and a Chicago Cover-Up

Murder in Canaryville: The True Story Behind a Cold Case and a Chicago Cover-Up

The cold-case murder of John Hughes, the son of a Chicago Outfit member suspected of pulling the trigger, and the efforts of a determined detective to unravel a cover-up.

The grandson and great-grandson of Chicago police officers, Chicago Police Detective James Sherlock was CPD through-and-through. His career had seen its share of twists and turns, from his time working undercover to thwart robberies on Chicago's L trains to his years as a homicide detective. He thought he had seen it all.

But on this day, he was at the records center to see the case file for the murder of John Hughes, who was seventeen years old when he was gunned down on Chicago's Southwest Side in 1976. The case's threads led everywhere: Police corruption. Hints of the Chicago Outfit. A crooked judge. Even the belief that the cover-up extended to "hizzoner" himself—legendary Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley.

A murder that had roiled the city and had been investigated for years had been reduced to a few reports and photographs. What should have been a massive file with notes and transcripts from dozens of interviews was nowhere to be found. Sherlock could have left the records center without the folder and cruised into retirement, and no one would have noticed.

Instead, he tucked the envelope under his arm and carried it outside.

"A real-life crime drama with vivid individuals and neighborhoods. A murder unsolved until now after forty years. It portrays the unvarnished Chicago of yesterday...absolutely a must read." —Dick Simpson, author of The Good Fight


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs

Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs.

The basis for the hit TV series Gangland Undercover!


The gripping account from an ex-con who went undercover to help the ATF infiltrate three of America's most violent biker gangs.

Despite lacking any experience with motorcycle gangs, Charles Falco infiltrated three of America's deadliest biker gangs: the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. In separate investigations that spanned years and coasts, Falco risked his life, suffering a fractured neck and a severely torn shoulder, working deep under cover to bring violent sociopaths to justice.

His dedication was profound; Falco spent almost three years infiltrating the Vagos gang and rose to second in command of the Victorville, California chapter. He even served time in San Bernardino's Murder Unit and endured solitary confinement to protect his cover and the investigations. Falco recorded confessions of gangland-style killings and nearly became a target himself before he sought refuge in the Witness Protection Program. But discontent to remain on the sidelines and motivated by a strong sense of duty, Falco eventually left the Program and volunteer his talents again to infiltrate the Mongols and Outlaws, rising in rank to Vice President of the Petersburg, Virginia Outlaws chapter.

His efforts culminated in sixty two arrests of members for various crimes, including assault and murder. Executing one of this country's most successful RICO prosecutions and effectively crippling the criminal enterprise, Falco's engrossing narrative of the dangers of the biker underworld harkens back to Hunter S. Thompson's classic Hell's Angels, vividly recounting a life undercover.


Monday, June 07, 2021

Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime

Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime, Second Edition, describes and analyzes a rapidly expanding global problem: criminal acts committed by motorcycle gangs. Thomas Barker, one of the world's top experts on outlaw biker gangs, offers fascinating details about the Bandidos, the Vagos, the Mongols, and other "one percenters" (criminal biker gangs, as opposed to the vast majority of motorcycle enthusiasts). He combines this data with a strengthened conceptual framework that makes sense of this complicated picture. U.S.-based motorcycle gangs like the Hells Angels have proliferated, especially in Canada and Europe, to the point where these gangs have more members in other countries than in the United States. More and more often in recent years their crimes are not limited to rumbles or drug use-these gangs challenge the dominance of organized crime, leading to violent conflicts between the rivals. Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, the Netherlands, and Canada are particularly hard-hit by this rising violence.

One of Barker's unique contributions is his Criminal Organization Continuum, building on the groundbreaking Network Approach to organized crime proposed by Klaus von Lampe. Introduced in the first edition, Barker elaborates his continuum tool and makes it more multi-dimensional to help refine the definition of adult criminal gangs. The product of years of research, Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime, Second Edition, lays the groundwork for further study by offering students, police, and researchers the most thorough account available of outlaw motorcycle gangs.

  • Delves into the secretive culture of each of the major outlaw motorcycle gangs from the Warlocks to the Sons of Silence 
  • Analyzes whether biker gangs are really an organized crime threat nationally and transnationally
  • Debunks the major myths surrounding outlaw motorcycle clubs/gangs



Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by the Award Winning @BillOReilly

Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America, is the tenth book in Bill O'Reilly's #1 New York Times bestselling series of popular narrative histories, with sales of nearly 18 million copies worldwide, and over 320 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Instant #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller!

In the tenth book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard take on their most controversial subject yet: The Mob.


O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, murderers, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O’Reilly and Dugard trace the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the “Five Families,” the growth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the mob battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.

O’Reilly and Dugard turn these legendary criminals and their true-life escapades into a read that rivals the most riveting crime novel. With Killing the Mob, their hit series is primed for its greatest success yet.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Bomber Mafia by @Gladwell #TheBomberMafia

In The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.

Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?

In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”

Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Pablo Escobar: My Father

Until now, we believed that everything had been said about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the most infamous drug kingpin of all time, but these versions have always been told from the outside, never from the intimacy of his own home.

More than two decades after the full-fledged manhunt finally caught up with the king of cocaine, Juan Pablo Escobar travels to the past to reveal an unabridged version of his father―a man capable of committing the most extreme acts of cruelty while simultaneously professing infinite love for his family.

Pablo Escobar: My Father, is not the story of a child seeking redemption for his father, but a shocking look at the consequences of violence and the overwhelming need for peace and forgiveness.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Strongmen - Mussolini to the Present, by Expert Author Ruth Ben-Ghiat @RuthBenGhiat

What modern authoritarian leaders have in common (and how they can be stopped).

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is the expert on the "strongman" playbook employed by authoritarian demagogues from Mussolini to Putin—enabling her to predict with uncanny accuracy the recent experience in America. In Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, she lays bare the blueprint these leaders have followed over the past 100 years, and empowers us to recognize, resist, and prevent their disastrous rule in the future.

For ours is the age of authoritarian rulers: self-proclaimed saviors of the nation who evade accountability while robbing their people of truth, treasure, and the protections of democracy. They promise law and order, then legitimize lawbreaking by financial, sexual, and other predators.

They use masculinity as a symbol of strength and a political weapon. Taking what you want, and getting away with it, becomes proof of male authority. They use propaganda, corruption, and violence to stay in power.

Vladimir Putin and Mobutu Sese Seko’s kleptocracies, Augusto Pinochet’s torture sites, Benito Mussolini and Muammar Gaddafi’s systems of sexual exploitation, and Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump’s relentless misinformation: all show how authoritarian rule, far from ensuring stability, is marked by destructive chaos.

No other type of leader is so transparent about prioritizing self-interest over the public good. As one country after another has discovered, the strongman is at his worst when true guidance is most needed by his country.

Recounting the acts of solidarity and dignity that have undone strongmen over the past 100 years, Ben-Ghiat makes vividly clear that only by seeing the strongman for what he is—and by valuing one another as he is unable to do—can we stop him, now and in the future.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Second City Sinners - True Crime from Historic Chicago's Deadly Streets #BookRecommendation

Countless crimes have riveted Chicago and its surrounding communities throughout history. Second City Sinners offers front-row seats to the Haymarket Riot that exploded across the city in 1886, then bleeds through the historic back alleys, skirting past a murderous butcher, the Black Hand, Tommy O'Connor's jailbreak, and John Dillinger's final flick at the Biograph Theater. In the courtroom, witness Clarence Darrow in 1894 as he defends the man who murdered Chicago's mayor, and then again in 1924 as Darrow attempts to save the young men who tried to plot the perfect crime.

Many of the voices of these historic characters come from the journalists of their era, reporting on life and death in Chicago. Chicago Sun-Times journalist Jon Seidel takes readers back in time to the days when H. H. Holmes lurked in his "Murder Castle" and guys named Al Capone and John Dillinger ruled the underworld. Drawing upon years of reporting, and with special access to the Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times archives, Jon Seidel explains how men such as Nathan Leopold, Richard Loeb and Richard Speck tried to get away with history's most disturbing crimes.

Second City Sinners: True Crime from Historic Chicago’s Deadly Streets, is published by Lyons Press and is available in hardcover, on Kindle or Nook, or as an audiobook.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau's Code of Excellence - by Frank Figliuzzi @FrankFigliuzzi1 - is Loaded with Fidelity, Bravery, & Integrity

The FBI’s former head of counterintelligence delivers a field-tested playbook for unlocking individual and organizational excellence, based on the FBI’s fiercely protected code of conduct and illustrated through dramatic stories from his own storied career

Frank Figliuzzi was the "Keeper of the Code," appointed the FBI’s Chief Inspector by then-Director Robert Mueller. Charged with overseeing sensitive internal inquiries, shooting reviews, and performance audits, he ensured each employee met the Bureau's exacting standards of performance, integrity, and conduct. Now, drawing on his distinguished career, Figliuzzi reveals how the Bureau achieves its extraordinary standard of excellence—from the training of new recruits in "The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau's Code of Excellence" to the Bureau's rigorous maintenance of its standards up and down the organization. Unafraid to identify FBI execs who erred, he cites them as the exceptions that prove the rule.

All good codes of conduct have one common trait: they reflect the core values of an organization. Individuals, companies, schools, teams, or any group seeking to codify their rules to live by must first establish core values. Figliuzzi has condensed the Bureau’s process of preserving and protecting its core values into what he calls “The Seven C’s”. If you can adapt the concepts of Code, Conservancy, Clarity, Consequences, Compassion, Credibility, and Consistency, you can instill and preserve your values against all threats, internal and external. This is how the FBI does it.

Figliuzzi’s role in the FBI gave him a unique opportunity to study patterns of conduct among high-achieving, ethical individuals and draw conclusions about why, when and how good people sometimes do bad things. Part pulse-pounding memoir, part practical playbook for excellence, The FBI Way shows readers how to apply the lessons he’s learned to their own lives: in business, management, and personal development.


Friday, July 10, 2020

As Disney Begins their Phased Reopening Tomorrow, Check Out the Story of "Herbert Blitzstein and the Mickey Mouse Mafia" #DisneyMagicMoments

Herbert Blitzstein and the Mickey Mouse Mafia, is a story from the anthology Masters of True Crime, which spans murder cases from the beginning of the 20th century to today.

This is a must-hear for fans of true crime and will also be compelling to mystery and thriller listeners.


Wednesday, July 08, 2020

The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America's Forgotten Capital of Vice

The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America's Forgotten Capital of Vice.

The incredible true story of America's original―and forgotten―capital of vice

Back in the days before Vegas was bigThe Vapors, when the Mob was at its peak and neon lights were but a glimmer on the horizon, a little Southern town styled itself as a premier destination for the American leisure class. Hot Springs, Arkansas was home to healing waters, Art Deco splendor, and America’s original national park―as well as horse racing, nearly a dozen illegal casinos, countless backrooms and brothels, and some of the country’s most bald-faced criminals.

Gangsters, gamblers, and gamines: all once flocked to America’s forgotten capital of vice, a place where small-town hustlers and bigtime high-rollers could make their fortunes, and hide from the law. The Vapors is the extraordinary story of three individuals―spanning the golden decades of Hot Springs, from the 1930s through the 1960s―and the lavish casino whose spectacular rise and fall would bring them together before blowing them apart.

Hazel Hill was still a young girl when legendary mobster Owney Madden rolled into town in his convertible, fresh off a crime spree in New York. He quickly established himself as the gentleman Godfather of Hot Springs, cutting barroom deals and buying stakes in the clubs at which Hazel made her living―and drank away her sorrows. Owney’s protégé was Dane Harris, the son of a Cherokee bootlegger who rose through the town’s ranks to become Boss Gambler. It was his idea to build The Vapors, a pleasure palace more spectacular than any the town had ever seen, and an establishment to rival anything on the Vegas Strip or Broadway in sophistication and supercharged glamour.

In this riveting work of forgotten history, native Arkansan David Hill plots the trajectory of everything from organized crime to America’s fraught racial past, examining how a town synonymous with white gangsters supported a burgeoning black middle class. He reveals how the louche underbelly of the South was also home to veterans hospitals and baseball’s spring training grounds, giving rise to everyone from Babe Ruth to President Bill Clinton. Infused with the sights and sounds of America’s entertainment heyday―jazz orchestras and auctioneers, slot machines and suited comedians―The Vapors is an arresting glimpse into a bygone era of American vice.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Gangsters Up North: Mobsters, Mafia, and Racketeers in Michigan's Vacationlands

Gangsters Up North: Mobsters, Mafia, and Racketeers in Michigan's Vacationlands.

Gangsters play an important and colorful role in Michigan history. But what were they doing in Michigan's vacationlands?

Gangsters Up North: Mobsters, Mafia, and Racketeers in Michigan's Vacationlands, provides the fascinating account of truth and myth. Al Capone, the Purple Gang, Fred "Killer" Burke, additional Public Enemies and many other hoodlums found their way Up North in fact or fiction. Some came for gambling, bootlegging, kidnapping, and murder. Others just wanted some rest and relaxation.

For the first time, the whole colorful story can be told. Gangsters Up North draws on newspaper accounts, numerous interviews, and much unpublished material to paint the real picture of mobsters and their associates in Michigan's northlands.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Released Today: The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by Donald Trump's National Security Advisor, John Bolton

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.

As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened, and the facts speak for themselves.

The result is a White House memoir that is the most comprehensive and substantial account of the Trump Administration, and one of the few to date by a top-level official. With almost daily access to the President, John Bolton has produced a precise rendering of his days in and around the Oval Office. What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy—and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government. In Bolton’s telling, all this helped put Trump on the bizarre road to impeachment. “The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

Bolton’s account starts with his long march to the West Wing as Trump and others woo him for the National Security job. The minute he lands, he has to deal with Syria’s chemical attack on the city of Douma, and the crises after that never stop. As he writes in the opening pages, “If you don’t like turmoil, uncertainty, and risk—all the while being constantly overwhelmed with information, decisions to be made, and sheer amount of work—and enlivened by international and domestic personality and ego conflicts beyond description, try something else.”

The turmoil, conflicts, and egos are all there—from the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic and manipulative moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to the showdowns at the G7 summits, the calculated warmongering by Iran, the crazy plan to bring the Taliban to Camp David, and the placating of an authoritarian China that ultimately exposed the world to its lethal lies. But this seasoned public servant also has a great eye for the Washington inside game, and his story is full of wit and wry humor about how he saw it played.




Monday, June 15, 2020

Broken by @DonWinslow - One of America’s Greatest Living Crime Writers

No matter how you come into this world, you come out broken . . .

In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, heart-stopping, heartbreaking best.

In Broken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway.

With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio Reach Deal on "Killers of the Flower Moon" with Paramount and Apple - The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

After months of ironing out budget concerns over Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Paramount has enlisted Apple to get the film over the hump.

Sources tell Variety that Paramount will still distribute the murder mystery drama, with Apple coming on to finance the pic and also serve as the film’s creative studio. Deals still have not closed, but sources add that they’re very likely to in the coming days.

Imperative Entertainment, whose partners Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas acquired the book in 2016, will produce the film. Imperative first bought the book and would later bring on Scorsese and DiCaprio to reteam on the project before bringing it to Paramount.

Based on David Grann’s non-fiction book, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is set in 1920s Oklahoma, where the newly created Bureau of Investigation began investigating a string of murders of wealthy Osage Indians who had been granted revenue rights to oil discovered under their lands. The book carries the subtitle “The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I.”

For months, the studio and producers had been back and forth on the film’s budget, which those close to the project said ranged between $180 million and $200 million, leading to rumblings about whether the movie would stay at Paramount, move to another studio or go to a streamer like Netflix, which just produced Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

While there was a time when a move to a streamer was in play, sources close to the director say that, while he was willing for “The Irishman” to appear on a streaming platform, he always envisioned that “Killers of the Flower Moon” would be a theatrical release, with his reps pushing that it stay that way.

Though deals are expected to close for all parties, a production start date is still up in the air, especially when it comes to DiCaprio’s schedule. While the studio and producers were figuring out what would happen with “Killers of the Flower Moon,” sources say the Oscar winner was looking at a number of projects to do before it, including Adam McKay’s next film for Netflix. That movie also stars Jennifer Lawrence, and could possibly go into production before “Killers of the Flower Moon” if DiCaprio were to sign on.

This marks another major move into the film world for Apple after it acquired the rights to the Tom Hanks pic “Greyhound” from Sony for $70 million. It previously co-produced “On the Rocks” with A24, which stars Bill Murray with Sofia Coppola directing.

It marks the sixth collaboration between DiCaprio and Scorsese, who last teamed on 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Thanks to Justin Kroll.


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