BLOOD FEUD by Edward & Robert Boris Hannibal


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The legal battles between Bobby Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa--in a sort of documentary pasteup with patches of strong descriptive writing that stand out oddly against the more banal pages. Still, once launched into the tale, the reader is quickly gripped and looks forward to the brutal, brow-to-brow, bullish clashes between little-tough-guy Hoffa and slim, physically fearless Kennedy of touch-football and 50-mile-hike fame. And although we all know what's gonna happen, this root-conflict plays itself out on an energetic level of noncerebral confrontation. Hoffa is a Detroit streetfighter of great stamina who leads his truckworkers into their first union. He sees the poor wisdom of busting skulls forever and when management hires the Purple Gang to smash pickets, Jimmy goes to the hoods and pays them more than the bosses so that they'll be on his side. Meanwhile young Bobby is growing up as the millionaire son of tycoon Joe Kennedy, has to match his older brothers and fulfill his father's ego. Fresh from college, Bobby joins the McCarthy investigators but drops out after a run-in with Roy Cohn, and then reporter Clark Mollenhoff sells Bobby on the need to get Hoffa behind bars. So Jimmy's climb to the presidency of the Teamsters parallels Bobby's drive to ""get Hoffa's ass."" Some of their collisions are by chance, in men's rooms and elevators, and there's no denying the heart and heat with which these rivals pound each other. More freeform journalism than fiction, but the story's a good one--and the whole idea fairly shouts to be a TV mini-series.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1979
Publisher: Ballantine