Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kenneth D. Ackerman

Kenneth D. Ackerman has made old New York a favorite subject in his writing, including his critically acclaimed biography Boss Tweed: The Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York. Beyond his writing, Ackerman has served a long legal career in Washington, D.C. both inside and out of government, including as counsel to two U.S. Senate committees, regulatory posts in both the Reagan and Clinton administrations, and as administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. He continues to practice private law in Washington.

Ackerman's new book is Trotsky in New York, 1917: Portrait of a Radical on the Eve of Revolution.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading:
This summer, I have immersed myself in books about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Call it research, or call it just a summer obsession, but a friend got me started with the new Larry Tye biography Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, and since then I have devoured, in rapid succession, the 1964 report of the Warren Commission, the 1976 reports of the House Special Committee on Assassinations and the Church Committee on abuses of the CIA, and classics like Edward Jay Epstein's Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, Dan Moldea’s The Hoffa Wars, Ronald Goldfarb’s Perfect Villains, Imperfect Heroes: Robert F. Kennedy’s War against Organized Crime, Larry Sabato’s The Kennedy Half-Century, Lamar Waldron’s Ultimate Sacrifice, and on from there.

It’s a fantastic story, a moment I remember well from my own life fifty-three years ago as a 12-year old, well worth the literally hundreds of books already written covering the topic from every angle. My question as a writer is a simple one: What possible unique angle is left? Any suggestions?
Visit Kenneth Ackerman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Trotsky in New York, 1917.

The Page 99 Test: Trotsky in New York, 1917.

--Marshal Zeringue