Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is Kevin Baker reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd.

His entry begins:
I tend to read both fiction and nonfiction at the same time, what I need to read for my work, and what I read for pleasure (all too infrequently), or because I want to satisfy my curiosity about something.

With the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I, I’ve begun reading through the spate of recent books on the subject. I wanted to see if the old Barbara Tuchman thesis from The Guns of August still stood up: that the conflict was caused mostly by putting into place mechanisms for war, that could not be halted once they were triggered.

It does, but this is only part of the whole story, at least according to Sean McMeekin’s July 1914: Countdown to War, which is tremendously well-researched. It makes clear that the full story is even more depressing, that the war was brought on in good part by the bureaucratic maneuverings of obscure cabinet ministers, trying to win petty political points. I’ve just started...[read on]
About The Big Crowd, from the publisher:
Tom O’Kane has always looked up to his brother, Charlie, latching onto him as a surrogate father as soon as he arrived in America from County Mayo. Charlie is the American Dream personified: an immigrant who worked his way up from beat cop to mayor of New York. But what if Charlie isn’t as wonderful as he seems?

More than a decade after Tom arrives in New York, he is forced to confront the truth about Charlie while investigating the mysterious “suicide” of Kid Twist, Charlie’s star witness against the largest crime syndicate in New York. As Tom digs deeper, the secrets he uncovers throw everything he thinks he knows about his beloved brother into question.

Based on one of the biggest unsolved mob murders in history, The Big Crowd brings the 1940s to indelible life, from the beaches of Acapulco to the battlefields of World War II, from Gracie Mansion to the Brooklyn docks.
Learn more about the book and author at Kevin Baker's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Big Crowd.

Writers Read: Kevin Baker.

--Marshal Zeringue