This illuminating account of the Iran-contra affair by the two senators from Maine is based on testimony taken during the hearings, the findings of the Tower Commission and the authors' observations and reactions as members of the Select Committee. The testimony of Richard Secord, Robert MacFarlane, Oliver North, John Poindexter, Albert Hakim, Elliott Abrams, George Shultz, Fawn Hall and others is placed firmly in context by the authors, who are outspoken in their comments (``Oliver North melodramatically boasted that he would take a spear in the chest for Ronald Reagan, even as he carefully steered the spear into John Poindexter's chest''). The question of the president's knowledge of the ``initiative,'' as well as the extent of Vice-President Bush's involvement, is as thoroughly explored as perhaps it can be currently. Cohen and Mitchell believe it likely that President Reagan will grant full pardons to those under investigation or indictment ``for their activities in carrying out his goals.'' A clear exposition of the chronology, probable motivations and the broader implications of Iran-contra, this is a book many Americans have been waiting for. 50,000 first printing; $60,000 ad/promo; first serial to the Washington Post; author tour. (September)
As the mosaic of the Iran-Contra affair comes together, the deception by key figures in the Reagan administration is increasingly evident. This latest book by senators from Maine who served on the joint House and Senate Select Committee tells the story from the congressional point of view. Acknowledging the impact of TV on the depiction of Oliver North, the senators still find a story filled with deception and law-breaking by high officials. John Poindexter's failure of memory, Donald Regan's elusive role, and Richard Secord's profiteering all form a tale of unlawful behavior, cover-up, and a questionable defense of ``patriotism.'' A clear picture of the hearings' role that is highly recommended. Richard B. Finnegan, Stonehill Coll., North Easton, Mass.