The Senator from Central Casting - The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Thomas F. Dodd by David E. Koskoff
ISBN is 9780615419268 / 0615419267
Publisher:New American Political Pre..., 2011
Edition:Hardcover - New with dust cover, no marks. Has Review Slip on inside front cover. 56 Black and White photos, 288 pages. Published May 1, 2011. 6.25 x 9.25
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About the book:
With his noble features and flowing white hair, Tom Dodd looked the quintessential Senator. Nobody sounded more Senatorial; even his ordinary speech consisted of speeches, his sentences of aphorisms. Yet beneath this facade was a scattered man, emotionally unstable and alcoholic, financially troubled. Talent and luck had brought Dodd an out-sized career. His personal demons and the betrayal of those he trusted would ultimately destroy it.
David Koskoff's fascinating narrative tells the entire Dodd story, from early promise and achievement to the final years of decline and disgrace. Koskoff also connects the dots to reveal the underpinnings of the posthumous rehabilitation of Tom Dodd's reputation by his son, Senator Christopher Dodd.
Tom Dodd's early career included a stint with the FBI, where he was involved in a shoot-out with mythic bank robber John Dillinger; and later a year as the chief trial attorney for the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Crimes trial of 1945-6. Dodd's glamorous past and his distinguished Nuremberg service propelled him into the U.S. House of Representatives, then the U.S. Senate.
As a Senator, Dodd was known as a mesmerizing orator, most famous for his virulent opposition to all things communist, particularly to rapprochement with the Soviet Union. In addition to serving the anti-communist cause, he served himself, supporting a lavish lifestyle by milking his many conflicts of interest, and pocketing campaign funds. In his seventh year as Senator, his one-time acolyte James Boyd, later his administrative assistant, became his Judas. Together with Dodd's personal secretary and his office manager---the people who knew Dodd the best and who owed him the most---Boyd secreted out of Dodd's office 7,000 sheets of documents, which he turned over to muckraking journalist Jack Anderson. Anderson's 100 columns about Dodd led to his censure by the Senate for financial improprieties, by a vote of 92 to 5.
Many years later, with the financial backing of multi-billionaire John W. Kluge, Christopher Dodd was able to obscure this history by establishing the Nobel-like Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights and securing the naming of a new showplace building at the University of Connecticut as The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. In death, Tom Dodd became a symbol of civic virtue and the fight against tyranny.
Exhaustively researched, richly illustrated, The Senator from Central Casting tells a compelling story of human frailty and realpolitik.