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In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth

In Hoffa's Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth

by Jack Goldsmith


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"The Irishman is great art . . . but it is not, as we know, great history . . . Frank Sheeran . . . surely didn’t kill Hoffa . . . But who pulled the trigger? . . . For some of the real story, and for a great American tale in itself, you want to go to Jack Goldsmith’s book, In Hoffa’s Shadow.” —Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal

"In Hoffa’s Shadow is compulsively readable, deeply affecting, and truly groundbreaking in its re-examination of the Hoffa case . . . a monumental achievement." —James Rosen, The Wall Street Journal

As a young man, Jack Goldsmith revered his stepfather, longtime Jimmy Hoffa associate Chuckie O’Brien. But as he grew older and pursued a career in law and government, he came to doubt and distance himself from the man long suspected by the FBI of perpetrating Hoffa’s disappearance on behalf of the mob. It was only years later, when Goldsmith was serving as assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and questioning its misuse of surveillance and other powers, that he began to reconsider his stepfather, and to understand Hoffa’s true legacy.

In Hoffa’s Shadow tells the moving story of how Goldsmith reunited with the stepfather he’d disowned and then set out to unravel one of the twentieth century’s most persistent mysteries and Chuckie’s role in it. Along the way, Goldsmith explores Hoffa’s rise and fall and why the golden age of blue-collar America came to an end, while also casting new light on the century-old surveillance state, the architects of Hoffa’s disappearance, and the heartrending complexities of love and loyalty.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374175658
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,128,157
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jack Goldsmith is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University. From October 2003 to June 2004 he was assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

1 Chuckie and Me 11

2 Two Loyalties 42

3 Unionism, Hoffa-Style 69

4 Bobby, Jimmy, and Chuckie 96

5 Surveillance Backup 122

6 The Condition 152

7 "He Got Nuts" 185

8 The Disappearance 213

9 Leading Suspect 227

10 Tragedy of Errors 244

11 Failed Vindication 263

12 Omertà 287

Afterword to the Paperback Edition 307

Appendix 315

Notes 323

Acknowledgments 343

Index 347

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