In the spring of 1972, T.V. LoCicero finished a book-length manuscript entitled Joann D’Ark and the Prince Of Detroit and eventually gave his only remaining copy to a University of Michigan professor who had encouraged him to write it. Soon thereafter the author lost touch with his friend the professor, and the manuscript was lost to him for more than 30 years. Why give away the last copy of a manuscript that covered the most intense, frustrating and perhaps defining period in his life? And why make no concerted effort to recover it for more than three decades?
The answers are contained in this compelling non-fiction narrative that contains the original manuscript, plus a new Author’s Note and Epilogue. Included are the story of LoCicero’s experience in researching and writing Murder in the Synagogue, a true crime account of the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler on Lincoln’s Birthday, 1966; the details of its publication by Prentice-Hall, Inc., that guaranteed the book would fail; and the information LoCicero received from a remarkable young woman who came forward to tell the author that Max Fisher, a wealthy and powerful confidant and supporter of Richard Nixon, had arranged with the publisher to “squelch” his book.
True in every detail, this is a tale of deceit, betrayal and criminality involving a major American publisher who, in 1974, four years after it sabotaged Murder in the Synagogue, did the same thing to another of its books, Du Pont: Behind the Nylon Curtain. The story of what Prentice-Hall did to the Du Pont book, and why, was first told on January 21, 1975, in the New York Times. It was told again more recently by Gerard Colby, the author of the Du Pont book, in “The Price of Liberty,” one of several essays about suppression in the media collected in a book entitled Into the Buzzsaw. The story of what happened to Murder in the Synagogue has never been told...until now.
This is a measured yet compelling account of a young writer’s sudden plunge into the wiles of publishing and his unexpected and at times unpleasant lessons in how the world works. Its epilogue explains how the original manuscript of Joann D’Ark and the Prince Of Detroit finally came back to its author after more than 30 years, recounts the passing of Max Fisher in 2005 at the age of 96 and brings the story up to date.
In the process, many will note that while the details of this tale are decades old, the lessons they contain about corporate manipulation and the power and influence of wealth and political connection remain deeply important in our world today.
T.V. LoCicero has been writing both fiction and non-fiction across five decades. He's the author of the true crime books Murder in the Synagogue (Prentice-Hall), on the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler, and Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue. His novels include The Car Bomb and Admission of Guilt, the first two books in The Detroit im dyin Trilogy, and The Obsession and The Disappearance, the first two in The Truth Beauty Trilogy, Seven of his shorter works are now available as ebooks. These are among the stories and essays he has published in various periodicals, including Commentary, Ms. and The University Review, and in the hard-cover collections Best Magazine Articles, The Norton Reader and The Third Coast.
About what he calls his “checkered past,” LoCicero says:
“At one time or another I've found work as an industrial spy; a producer of concert videos for Rolling Stone's greatest singer of all time; one of the few male contributors to Gloria Steinem's Ms. Magazine; a writer of an appellate brief for those convicted in one of Detroit's most sensational drug trials; the author of a true crime book that garnered a bigger advance than a top ten best-selling American novel; a project coordinator/fundraiser for a humanities council; a small business owner; the writer/producer/director of numerous long-form documentaries; a golf course clerk; a college instructor who taught courses in advanced composition, music and poetry appreciation, introduction to philosophy, remedial English, and American Literature--all in the same term; a ghostwriter; a maker of corporate/industrial videos; a member of a highway surveying crew; a speechwriter for auto executives; a TV producer of live event specials; an editorial writer; the creator of 15-second corporate promos for the PBS series Nature; and a novelist.
“There is a sense in which that last occupation was the reason for all the others. Almost anyone who's ever tried to make ends meet as a novelist knows what I'm talking about.”read more
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