© 2016 by David M. Hamlin

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Works

Drugs, death and rock and roll on

Chicago's AM radio dial...

Before dawn in January, 1975, Emily detours from her normal route to work in the newsroom of Chicago's top pop rock station to investigate a crime scene. The police believe the body on the street is a suicide. Emily is stunned to discover that the dead woman is a dear friend since high school. Unable to fathom why Beni Steinart would take her own life, Emily begins an investigation that leads to a trunk-load of cocaine, Federal narcotics charges, abuse of power and a perplexing mystery - suicide or murder?

Emily's reporting triggers an explosive battle between two men who tower over their city. Cary Chase is Chicago's most prominent bachelor, a wealthy entrepreneur whose mansion is the epicenter of Chicago's elite society. United States Attorney Tommy "Tommy Terrific" Jameson is ambitiously determined to rid his city of corruption on his way up to the Governor's office and perhaps even higher.

Drawing on an eclectic roster of news sources and WEL colleagues and her own considerable talent and determination, Emily uncovers the full story of her friend's death in a remarkable confrontation which produces front page headlines and restores one life as it ruins another.

"A fascinating book about ACLU's decision to defend on April 27, 1977, the right of self-proclaimed Nazi Frank collin to stage a rally on the steps of the village hall in skokie, Ill. -- a community with a large Jewish population, about 7,000 of whom are survivors of the Holocaust.

 

Author David Hamlin was executive director of the Illinois chapter of the ACLU during the turbulent year of court actions and national controversy. His book represents an interesting insider's view of the affair.

He begins by analyzing Collin and his organization, such as it was. Hamlin estimates the loose-knit group never counted more than about two dozen among its membership. And in conducting this initial assessment, Hamlin puts into stark focus not only the onerousness of Collin's philosophy, but the illusion of his strength and following that became such an obsession to so many people."

The Nazi/Skokie Conflict:

A Civil Liberties Battle

David M. Hamlin

"Hamlin adds that Collin's illusion was not aimed at the public at large, but at himself. Collin's real name is Frank Cohn. He is the son of a Jew who survived the Holocaust. In this analysis, Hamlin consistently repudiates the ideas Collin espouses. But as becomes clear throughout the rest of the book, Collin still had a constitutional right to express those ideas, despite the legal gymnastics employed by the Village of Skokie and others in trying to exercise prior censorship over Collin.

 

According to Hamlin's account, the proposition that "it could happen here" was contradicted in this case by the fewness of Collin's backers and the overwhelmingly large number of Collin's opponents at the few rallies he finally held. What follows the analysis of Collin and his group is a detailed description of the events that led to Collin's decision to hold his rally in Skokie, the village's reaction, and the numerous court battles that ultimately ended in the rejection of the village's position." - The Christian Science Monitor