HOFFA'S MAN: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa as Witnessed by his Strongest Arm by Joseph with Richard Hammer Franco

HOFFA'S MAN: The Rise and Fall of Jimmy Hoffa as Witnessed by his Strongest Arm

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From Jimmy Hoffa's axe-man (and self-confessed killer) Franco, and N.Y. Times reporter Hammer, an inside peek at the ruthless rise and demise of the infamous Teamster leader. Literacy is not Franco's strong point, as he himself makes clear (he admits to killing a local bully at age five, as well as to a second murder at age nine, as well as to blowing away the two presumed killers of his wife). But his roller-coaster, down-and, dirty prose style does provide a colorful rendition of Hoffa. Franco offers some fascinating snapshots of the friction-ridden relations between Hoffa and the Kennedys, including one scene where, with Bobby Kennedy hiding in a back room, Franco is offered a deal in an attempt to get him to rat on Hoffa. RFK is forced to blow his cover and descends into a gutter tirade against Franco that is returned in kind. Franco later elucidates some of the dealings that were behind Nixon's pardon of Hoffa in 1971, which carried an unknown (to Hoffa) restriction on Hoffa's holding office in the Teamster organization for eight years. For this, Nixon got the Teamster's endorsement in 1972, over the objections of Harold Gibbons (""Would you believe that shanty Irish son of a bitch [Fitzsimmons] wants me to endorse Nixon. . .?""). Franco quotes Hoffa telling him to kill Fitzsimmons, and tells of his rage when Franco refused. But the tables were soon turned. Regarding Hoffa's disappearance, Franco says the accepted story doesn't work for many reasons, not the least of which is that ""I know. Because I was there and I seen it all and I know what happened."" Franco also claims that, by accident, he happened to be at the same Detroit shopping mall as Hoffa that day and saw a car pull up with three US marshalls or agents, who drove Hoffa off in the direction of the airport in Pontiac. Is this the ultimate get-even game--accusing the government of eliminating Hoffa, rather than the standard belief that it was Provenzano or Giacalone? Who knows? But the speculation is intriguing--as is the rest of this rough-cut book.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1987
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press