THE LINCOLN LORDS by Cameron Hawley


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Better than Cash McCall; not so good- but more mature- than Executive Suite, this third novel from Cameron Hawley sustains his reputation for an honest approach to business problems- in fictional dress. For the first time his central woman character is three dimensional; in the earlier novels the women were lay figures. Another new facet is that this time Lincoln Lord is depicted as a man who has run away from threat of failure, who seems to have no ability to come to grips with issues despite his magnetic front. Everyone is charmed- at first- into believing he can fill that enviable place at the top, until he runs into trouble. And after it has happened again and again, he becomes, it seems, unemployable. Even his wife is panicked by doubt and confusion. And it is at this point the story opens. His His charm comes through -- but it can't pay bills, nor fool any more those nearest to him. The desertion of his Man Friday, Brick, was a final blow. And then he gets another chance. A small cannery down in Jersey needs a top executive. The story gathers momentum and interest as one follows Line's somewhat tentative first steps, his disillusionment and near panic as he finds what a dead cannery he has inherited, his growing distrust of one of the key people- and growing faith in another, only to find them at odds to the point, in the older man, of mania. There's the ripening seed of anti-semitism here (and frankly, I found this an artificial and distasteful handling of the subject, never wholly integrated with the central theme). And what makes that central theme- the growth of the Lincoln Lords themselves- tick? One actually feels the steps by which both Line and his wife-and for that matter their problem teen age son- find that they cannot function independently of the company, of which for the first time, they have become wholly a part.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1959
Publisher: Little, Brown