Friday, July 20, 2007

Alice McGrath in VC Reporter

The VC Reporter, the alternative weekly for Ventura County, has a cover story on Alice McGrath this week. Alice was the executive secretary for the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, which McWilliams chaired in the early 1940s. It helped free a group of mostly Latino youths in Los Angeles after a biased murder trial.

A picture of Alice and McWilliams (taken while he was teaching at UCLA) is on the cover; the link above is to the story.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

McWilliams Oral History

The transcript of Honorable in All Things, Carey McWilliams's oral history, is now available online. When I was writing American Prophet, I had to travel to Berkeley or UCLA to read this, so it's a huge convenience to have it at our fingertips now. The title comes from a line in Jerry McWilliams's will encouraging Carey and his brother to live a good life.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

More Rosselli

I'm not quite ready to let the Johnny Rosselli thing go. Charles Rappleye recently told me he thought his book on Rosselli would make for a strong television mini-series. Yes, and certainly a great documentary. Rosselli didn't just coordinate the Chicago mob's takeover of the Hollywood unions, or help create Las Vegas, or work with the Kennedy administration to assassinate Castro. He was also the man who supposedly persuaded studio mogul Harry Cohn to cast Frank Sinatra in "From Here to Eternity," a legend Mario Puzo later fictionalized in "The Godfather." Seems like grist for the cinematic mill to me.