Books by Nina Burleigh

Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A comprehensive exposé that will engender strong reactions from the vast majority of readers regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum."
A veteran reporter offers an in-depth investigative report on the six most important women in Donald Trump's life and then branches out to explain how a few dozen other women have affected his path to the presidency. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 2, 2011

"Burleigh's propulsive narrative and the many unsettling aspects of the case make this a standout among recent true-crime titles."
Powerful assessment of a tragic crime and its disastrous aftermath. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"A dramatic narrative, though its coverage of such a wide field makes it occasionally reductive."
People staff writer Burleigh (Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt, 2007, etc.) digs into the burgeoning trade in fraudulent religious relics, warning readers not to be too trusting. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 27, 2007

"Timely, but disappointingly superficial."
A breathless account of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"The dabbling Smithson isn't much of a rudder for a biography, and authorial enthusiasm never overcomes the handicap."
Amassed from scant source material, this inescapably forced attempt to make something of the life of the Smithsonian Institution's founder underscores the peculiar nature of the institution's origins. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 12, 1998

The most riveting personality in this thin biography by freelance writer Burleigh is not its murdered subject, Georgetown socialite Mary Meyer, but instead the lawyer who successfully defended the murder suspect. Meyer was the divorced wife of CIA division chief Cord Meyer and one of the parade of women who had affairs with President John F. Kennedy. Her sexual liaison with the president probably ended in late 1962. She was murdered in October 1964. A black man, Ray Crump, who had no good explanation for his presence near the murder scene, was arrested and tried. The prosecution couldn—t prove its case, and Crump was found not guilty. (Crump's lawyer was Dovey Roundtree, who had worked her way through college as a domestic, went on to become a successful criminal defense lawyer in Washington, and could, as she said, ‘' . . . talk the fat off a hog.") The real controversy surrounding Mary Meyer's murder wasn—t the Crump verdict but the fact that her diary—which presumably contained details of her affair with JFK and possibly CIA secrets—went missing. Conspiracy theories were swirling around the Kennedy assassination, and Mary's death was incorporated into some of those theories. Journalist Burleigh examines the evidence without turning up much that is new; the purpose of her book is to tell Mary's not very interesting story. Well-born into the Pinchot family, well-bred (Vassar), and well-connected, Mary was also attractive, intelligent, and charming. She developed a minor talent as a painter; her friends admired her for a somewhat free-spirited lifestyle (she questioned Timothy Leary on how to guide LSD sessions). Short on solid information—many firsthand sources are dead or not talking, and Mary's papers were destroyed—the book is also carelessly written and carelessly edited. Another "I Slept With JFK" scenario, disingenuously and pretentiously veiled as the story of a "woman on a quest." (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >