James B. Jacobs

 

On his book Breaking the Devil’s Pact: The Battle to Free the Teamsters From the Mob

Cover Interview of October 31, 2011

A close-up

Because the book presents an historical case study of U.S. v. IBT, it would best be approached chronologically.

The Timeline (pages xix—xxi in the book) is a thumbnail overview of the most important events in the 22+ years of the life of the lawsuit.

But the Timeline does not give any sense of the analysis which the book provides.

Chapter 1, “Introducing the Litigants and the Judge,” is about the many “big personalities” who have been involved with this case, including Rudy Giuliani for the U.S. Department of Justice and the original IBT and LCN defendants, as well as the rank and file interveners, and David Edelstein, the brilliant and irascible federal judge.

Perhaps Chapter 7 is the book’s most dramatic and compelling chapter.  It recounts the fall of Ron Carey, the insurgent “reformer” whose 1991 election was heralded as proof of the success of the U.S. v. IBT election reform remedial prong. The court-appointed officers charged Carey’s 1996 election campaign with embezzling union money for Carey’s re-election.  Carey’s 1996 victory was voided and he was expelled from the union.