Many critiques of the Trump era contrast it with the latter half of the twentieth century, when the United States seemed governed more by statesmen than by special interests. Without denying the extraordinary vigor of President Trump’s assault on traditional ethical and legal norms, Jonathan Marshall challenges the myth of a golden age of American democracy. Drawing on a host of original archival sources, he tells a shocking story of how well-protected criminals systematically organized the corruption of American national politics after World War II.
Marshall begins by tracing the extraordinary scandals of President Truman, whose political career was launched by the murderous Pendergast machine in Missouri. He goes on to highlight the role of organized crime in the rise of McCarthyism during the Cold War, the near-derailment of Vice President Johnson’s political career owing to two mob-related scandals, and Nixon’s career-long association with underworld figures. The book culminates with a discussion of Donald Trump’s unique history of relations with the traditional American Mafia and newer transnational gangs like the Russian Mafia—and how the latter led to his historic impeachment by the House of Representatives.
Jonathan Marshall is an independent journalist who has published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other national media. He has been a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News. He lives in San Anselmo, California.
Part I: The Truman Years
2. Organized Crime and Corruption in the Truman Administration
3. Anti-Communism: Mobsters, the FBI, the China Lobby
Part II: From Ike to LBJ
4. The Dominican Connection: Dictators, Mobsters, and Caribbean Intrigues
5. The Friends of LBJ – I: Bobby Baker and the Mob
6. The Friends of LBJ – II: The Murchisons
7. Henry Crown, the Chicago Outfit, and the TFX Scandal
Part III: Richard Nixon
8. Nixon’s Caribbean Milieu, 1950-1968
9. In the White House: Nixon and the Mob, 1969-1974
10. Nixon, Howard Hughes, the CIA, and the Mob: The Road to Watergate
Part IV: Conclusion
11. From Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump