John Lennon vs The USA (Review)

To be honest, I probably would never have picked up the book if it dealt with someone other than John Lennon.  However, like any other fan of The Beatles, I couldn’t resist at least checking out Leon Wildes’ new book.

I learned many interesting things about United States immigration law and a few new tidbits about one of my favorite artists by reading John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History .  I’ve read a few books that were penned by attorneys, but not one that was published by The American Bar Association, so this account has an added layer of credibility.

Leon Wildes is the founder and Senior Partner of Wildes & Weinberg P.C. specializingjohnlennon-03wildes in immigration law.  Wildes regularly publishes relevant articles and gives lectures to attorney groups. He is a past National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Wildes is most famous for his successful representation of John and Yoko Ono Lennon during the five-year deportation proceedings.

This book is written in a somewhat dry, formal style as befits an esteemed attorney.  Instead of detracting from the story, this manner of writing adds to the believability factor, making the book more interesting than if it had been written more artistically. This story is a real page-turner that I finished reading much sooner than I expected.

The main part of the book is set in the infamous Watergate era during the Richard Nixon administration. It soon became obvious that Lennon had become a target of dirty tricks ordered by Nixon and Attorney General John Mitchell. Lennon had been a vocal critic of President Nixon and the Vietnam War, so the President wanted the ex-Beatle out of the picture during his re-election campaign. Nixon’s desire was in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

The legal struggle soon included a list of notorious personalities like J. Edgar Hoover and various bureaucrats in the Bureau of Immigration. Despite setbacks, Wildes forged ahead with amazing perseverance with the help of the press, legal finesse, and the inspiration provided by John and Yoko.

There’s also the undercurrent of the straight-laced Leon Wildes’ education about popular culture.  He first entered the case not even knowing who John Lennon was and why his prospective client was so important. Wildes was a quick study and soon was on board with one of the most famous people in the world.johnlennon-02

The physical structure and layout of the book are very good.  The Appendix is filled with copies of legal documents. Best of all, the center of the book contains several glossy pages of photographs. The text is printed in an eye-friendly font. The book is a pleasure to read.

If you are a fan of The Beatles, John Lennon, or are interested in lawyering, John Lennon vs. The USA is well worth reading. As a bonus, the reader will see John Lennon and Yoko Ono in a new light.

{ John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History by Leon Wildes; 384 pages, published in 2016 by The American Bar Association; ISBN: 978-1-63425-426-7 }

mini-moiThe Blue Jay of Happiness quotes John Lennon. “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”


About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Books, Controversy, cultural highlights, Entertainment, History, music, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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