When Armand Hammer died at the age of 92, he was chairman of the Occidental Petroleum Company, lauded for his financial support of cancer research and for his art collection. But behind the facade of respectability lay a lifetime of fraud, both personal and professional. Now, the bestselling author of The Assassination Chronicles reveals the true ...
When Armand Hammer died at the age of 92, he was chairman of the Occidental Petroleum Company, lauded for his financial support of cancer research and for his art collection. But behind the facade of respectability lay a lifetime of fraud, both personal and professional. Now, the bestselling author of The Assassination Chronicles reveals the true story of this manipulative and corrupt man. of photos.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-08-26 After spending six months in 1981 traveling with Hammer while researching what he thought would be a friendly magazine article, Epstein (Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald) began to suspect that just about everything the self-promoting billionaire said or wrote or paid to have written about himself was untrue. Later, further interviews with Hammer's family and business associates, as well as research into newly available Soviet archives and FBI files gained via the Freedom of Information Act, confirmed those suspicions. Though it covers the range of Hammer's life, this is not so much a biography as it is an expos?. Epstein's charges against Hammer are vast: performing illegal abortions at his father's "clinic" (a fatal operation that Hammer performed while a medical student at Columbia sent his father to Sing Sing for manslaughter); laundering money that financed espionage for the Soviets in the 1920s and '30s; being a bad businessman (for the laundering to work, his ventures in the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. had to appear to be money-makers); peddling fraudulent "Romanoff treasures" and fake Faberg? Easter eggs through his art gallery; bribing his way to success both in the oil business and at the White House; blackmailing enemies and fabricating friendships with people in high places; bilking the rich widow who was his third wife; reneging on financial commitments he made to several mistresses and an illegitimate daughter; hiding his Jewishness until he was at death's door; and, finally, mounting a shameless, self-serving and unsuccessful publicity campaign to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Although his father was a dedicated Communist, ideology seems to have had nothing to do with Hammer's Soviet connections. The goal, as it was throughout his life, was money and power. Epstein is a persuasiveæif somewhat repetitiousæreporter. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
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