Books by Laurence Leamer

The President's Butler by Laurence Leamer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 10, 2016

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A butler recounts his service to an egomaniacal businessman who runs for president. Read full book review >
THE LYNCHING by Laurence Leamer
HISTORY
Released: June 7, 2016

"An engrossing true-crime narrative and a pertinent reminder of the consequences of organized hatred."
A powerful account of how a Ku Klux Klan-sanctioned lynching in Mobile, Alabama, paved the way for legal victories against such hate groups. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 7, 2013

"An eye-opening story about the relations among politics, business and justice."
A well-constructed nonfiction legal thriller from prizewinning journalist Leamer (Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach, 2009, etc.). Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

"A professionally reported account, but it's difficult to imagine an audience other than those with a pre-existing personal interest in Palm Beach."
Gossipy, depressing chronicle of ossified Florida high society. Read full book review >
FANTASTIC by Laurence Leamer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 7, 2005

"Fantastic? Hardly. "
Skin-deep treatment of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise and rise. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2004

"Impeccable: Leamer never overreaches, delivering accessible and even insightful portraits of Camelot's sons. (Two 16-page b&w photo inserts, not seen)"
Unpretentious profiles of Joseph Kennedy's surviving sons and many grandsons in the post-JFK years. Read full book review >
THE KENNEDY MEN by Laurence Leamer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2001

"Historians will wince at some of the hyperbole and speculative conclusions, but Kennedy junkies will gobble it up."
First of a projected two volumes, pulling together in sometimes mind-numbing detail the lives of the men in a family that dominated the American imagination during the last half of the 20th century. Read full book review >
THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH by Laurence Leamer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1997

An exhaustive journey into the heart and cash-glutted soul of today's country-music scene that overturns many long-held perceptions about the field—and its fans. As a symbol of the current state of country music, Leamer (The Kennedy Women, 1994, etc.) could hardly do better than the annual Nashville Fan Fair. Originated as a vehicle for fans to chat with their favorite performers and get an autograph or even a picture, the Fan Fair had, by 1996, become yet another example of marketing excess. The curious thing about this turn of events is that country music, so often derided by city slickers as tacky, has, Leamer argues, been made more so by such ``big-city'' companies as Sony Music, BMG, and Frito-Lay, which have rushed in to exploit one of the most lucrative entertainment markets. Leamer interviews fans and musicians, and offers in-depth profiles of stars such as the diva Reba McEntire, whose growing distance from her fans symbolizes country-music aficionados' worst fears; Garth Brooks, a success- obsessed superstar anxious to press the flesh with the record buyers who have made him the biggest-selling male solo artist of all time; and Shania Twain, who emerged from crippling poverty in the woods of northern Ontario and who, despite overwhelming hype, clearly does have a distinctive talent. The old ``covenant'' between country performers and their fans, which Leamer describes as requiring one to be ``as truthful to the past as to the present,'' is being swept aside and the identity of the music diluted by an industry on the prowl for young warblers who look good in jeans and a Stetson; questions about the music and its value place a distinct (and distant) second. As Joe Galante, head of a major label's Nashville office, laments, ``We're strip mining this business,'' attempting to inflate fragile talents into superstars. A disturbing, solid outing whose lessons will interest fans of all styles of pop music. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 1994

"By ferreting out new sources and new material and putting the familiar tales into a broader social context, Leamer gives a clearer if not always brighter picture of what it means to be a Kennedy woman."
Another Kennedy family saga, this one focusing on the women, from Irish forebears to feminist Rory Kennedy, daughter of Robert and Ethel. Read full book review >