NIGHT JOURNEY: A Story of Survival and Deliverance by John G. Stoessinger

NIGHT JOURNEY: A Story of Survival and Deliverance

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If this were a novel, it certainly would be labeled a potboiler. It's all here: the Holocaust, international intrigue, a wicked stepfather, sex, and fraud. Hardly what you would expect in the autobiography of Dr. John Stoessinger--noted political scientist now at the City University of New York; Harvard classmate of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski; former UN officer. The story begins with Hitler arriving in Vienna where young Stoessinger hears his governess making love to an SS officer and telling him, ""I want a son for the FÜhrer."" The family flees to Prague and then Shanghai, and Stoessinger finally comes to the U.S. to attend Grinnell College. He is tossed out two weeks before graduation--his diploma comes by mail--for getting his girlfriend pregnant. They marry, but he leaves her to attend Harvard Graduate School. A series of academic posts and honors, a second wife, and a UN assignment later, he meets an attractive con artist who becomes his mistress, gets him to write her letters of introduction to foreign banks and governments, and lends him $80,000. Both are indicted--she for fraud, he for falling to report a crime--and in a headline-grabbing trial, an assistant prosecutor tells him, ""I know you are not a criminal but you sure were dumb."" In cathartic fashion, Stoessinger willingly acknowledges his naivetÉ and discusses his thoughts of suicide, and his final resolve ""to play out his hand."" The book bogs down only in its closing chapter on the prisoners Stoessinger has been sentenced to teach. Otherwise, a snappy tale with enough entanglements for TV or film.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1978
Publisher: Playboy--dist. by Simon & Schuster