Peter C. Newman weighs in on “Robber Baron” and Conrad’s prison publishing
Peter Newman, my colleague and Black scribe extraordinaire, dropped me a line this morning. Always a joy, especially since parts of the message are well worth sharing:
I disagree with everybody about George Tombs’ second book (Robber Baron, ECW Press), which I thought was superb with much new, if sometimes quirky material that deserved a much better reception. I can’t believe that Black would ever be reduced to merely facing the obstruction of justice charge which is real enough but which any properly trained, Kamikaze-inspired secretary could have diverted to herself, instead of becoming the most effective anti-Black witness, next to Babs. I am boggled by his ability to file columns. Stephen Reid tried it…As you know there are mountains and avalanches of other evidence of Conrad’s mishandling of investor’s funds and the sustaining mystery of the trial is why they were not introduced. I find myself sad contemplating Conrad’s fate because his potential for good was so promising. But that’s another story.
Below, I’ve linked to a short piece on the fellow mentioned here—one Stephen Reid, bank robber turned author turned bank robber. Peter raises an interesting point in his e-mail: What are the implications of publishing the work of a convicted felon? For the publication? For the felon himself? I too am boggled and hope to follow up in the next several days.
• Stephen & Susan [CBC]