Bay Area author Jonathan Marshall offers an original take on an old subject, political corruption, and challenges the myth of a past golden age of American democracy. Drawing on law-enforcement files and other original sources, he brings to light the neglected history of how well-protected criminals and their business allies organized the corruption of national politics after World War II. Jonathan will discuss new findings dating from the Truman administration and the hidden origins of the McCarthy era, up through the Watergate period — and the light they shed on Donald Trump’s Mafia-connected career and presidency.
Guest speaker Jonathan Marshall earned an M.A. in American History at Cornell University. His journalism career included positions as the Oakland Tribune’s editorial page editor and the San Francisco Chronicle’s economics editor. His six books and other scholarly publications cover topics including 18th-to-20th-century U.S. history as well as the history of China, Japan, France, Mexico, Central America, and the Middle East. The University of California’s Daniel Wick called his book To Have and Have Not “the most thought-provoking book in decades on the origins of the Pacific War.” Stanford historian David Kennedy called Jonathan’s latest book, Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy, from Truman to Trump, “a unique blend of magma-deep research, dramatic revelations, and judicious conclusions.”