HOFFA: The Real Story by James R. & Oscar Fraley Hoffa

HOFFA: The Real Story

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is said to be made of tapes from Fraley's interviews with Hoffa on the basis of a contract Hoffa signed with Stein & Day; the book's authenticity was upheld by affidavits from his wife and children. Most of the autobiography is familiar--Hoffa's organizing days and his anti-communist joy when the Smith Act indictment ""knocked the CIO out of the box in the Minneapolis area""; plus his feud with Robert Kennedy (""I hated the bastard,"" etc.) during and after the McClellan Committee investigation of the Teamsters. Hoffa charges Kennedy with underhanded methods of trial in the press, insertion of spies and bugs, and of setting up the jury bribery charges which sent him to prison; he also makes Bobby look spoiled and foolish. However, the highlight of the book are the accusations against Frank Fitzsimmons, his successor to the Teamster presidency. The book says Hoffa conspired with Charles Colson and John Dean, over John Mitchell's head, to have the prison sentence commuted on the condition that Hoffa could not regain union office, and that Fitzsimmons is corrupt and has Mafia ties. Apart from the fact that Hoffa's own underworld connections are not convincingly dismissed, these contentions lay the basis for charging Fitzsimmons and the Mafia with his disappearance and probable death. He also indirectly fingers Chuck O'Brien, his protege who supposedly defected to Fitzsimmons. It would be improper to take the book at face value since it was ""rushed into print,"" according to the publisher's press release, and may serve to prejudge the blame for Hoffa's fate. In any case, a teaser and likely attention-getter.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day