The Devil Himself: A Novel

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"I'll talk to anybody, a priest, a bank manager, a gangster, the devil himself, if I can get the information I need. This is a war." -- Lt. Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden, Naval Intelligence Unit, B-3

In late 1982, a spike in terrorism has the Reagan Administration considering covert action to neutralize the menace before it reaches the United States. There are big risks to waging a secret war against America's enemies---but there is one little-known precedent.
Forty years earlier, German U-boats had been prowling the Atlantic, sinking hundreds of U.S. ships along the east coast, including the largest cruise ship in the world, Normandie, destroyed at a Manhattan pier after Pearl Harbor. Nazi agents even landed on Long Island with explosives and maps of railways, bridges, and defense plants. Desperate to secure the coast, the Navy turned to Meyer Lansky, the Jewish Mob boss. A newly naturalized American whose fellow Eastern European Jews were being annihilated by Hitler, Lansky headed an unlikely fellowship of mobsters Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello, and naval intelligence officers.
Young Reagan White House aide Jonah Eastman, grandson of Atlantic City gangster Mickey Price, is approached by the president's top advisor with an assignment: Discreetly interview his grandfather's old friend Lansky about his wartime activities. There just might be something to learn from that secret operation.
The notoriously tight-lipped gangster, dying of cancer, is finally ready to talk. Jonah gets a riveting---and darkly comic---history lesson. The Mob caught Nazi agents, planted propaganda with the help of columnist Walter Winchell, and found Mafia spies to plot the invasion of Sicily, where General Patton was poised to strike at the soft underbelly of the Axis. Lansky's men stopped at nothing to sabotage Hitler's push toward American shores.
Based on real events, The Devil Himself is a high-energy novel of military espionage and Mafia justice.

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About the author

ERIC DEZENHALL cofounded the communications firm Dezenhall Resources, Ltd., and serves as its CEO. His most recent book of nonfiction, Damage Control: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management Is Wrong, pioneered techniques for understanding and defusing crises. The author of five previous novels, he lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Jul 19, 2011
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781429990363
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Espionage
Fiction / War & Military
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In an age when scandal can destroy a company's brand or anyone's reputation in an instant-GLASS JAW is an Art of War guide to modern crisis management.

In boxing terms, a tough-looking fighter who can't take a punch is said to have a "glass jaw," and so it is these days with targets of controversy. Down the rabbit hole of scandal, the weak are strong and the strong are weak. Just consider this slate of recent reputational body blows: Toyota, Susan G. Komen, Paula Deen, Tiger Woods, Joe Paterno, BP, the Duke Lacrosse players, Lance Armstrong, and Anthony Weiner. GLASS JAW is a manifesto for these times, written by crisis management veteran Eric Dezenhall, who has spent three decades dealing with some of the most intense controversies, both known and . . . handled with discretion.

In the current digital age, the fundamental nature of controversy is viral, rendering once-mighty organizations and individuals powerless against scandal. In GLASS JAW, Dezenhall analyzes scandal and demystifies the paper tiger "spin" industry, offering lessons, corrective measures, and counterintuitive insights, such as:

How there really is no "getting ahead" of a bad story (and other clichés from the media)The perils of navigating the "Fiasco Vortex"The art (and transaction) of the public apologyWhy a crisis is not an opportunityThe Nixon Fallacy: if only he had just said "I screwed up," the whole thing would have gone away (not a chance)How you are the enemy: the self-sabotage of selfies, tweets, emailing before thinking, technology creep, the privacy vacuum, and the industrialization of leaking.

From the boardroom to the parenting messaging board, scandals erupt every day. GLASS JAW explains this changing nature of controversy and offers readers counterpunches to best protect themselves.

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