Next to Hughes: Behind the Power and Tragic Downfall of Howard Hughes by His Closest Advisor

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9780060165055: Next to Hughes: Behind the Power and Tragic Downfall of Howard Hughes by His Closest Advisor
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Offers an intimate look at the eccentric multimillionaire's final years

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The self-servingly selective reminiscences of a world-class hustler who, among other dubious career distinctions, was a top aide to Howard Hughes. A sometime FBI agent who made a name for himself after WW II as a freelance trouble-shooter for a suspect clientele (the CIA, Stavros Niarchos, etc.), Maheu (who turns 75 this year) was first retained by Hughes during the mid-1950's. While he never met his employer (who kept in touch by phone or memo), Maheu soon became the reclusive billionaire's main front-man, representing him, among other matters, in the purchase and operation of a wealth of Nevada casinos. Maheu also acted as the Hughes organization's bagman in its efforts to influence such pols as Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon. In the meantime, he continued to do the odd dirty job for pals in the intelligence community (e.g., recruiting gangsters Sam Giancana and Johnny Rosselli to assassinate Fidel Castro). Eventually, however, the high-living, Las Vegas-based Maheu ran afoul of the so-called Mormon Mafia, whose members danced personal attendance upon the ailing, drug-addicted Hughes, and he lost his plush post as the mad industrialist's chief surrogate toward the end of 1970. Maheu devotes much of the chronological narrative (coauthored with Dove Books & Audio VP Hack) to exculpatory accounts of the legal woes he endured in the wake of his ouster. These dreary recitals ring false, however, largely because Maheu's assessment of his own role in any number of criminal activities is impenitently amoral. A graceless, narcissistic, score-settling apologia that affords little fresh insight into eccentrics, villains, or scandals from the recent past. (Eight pages of b&w photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Billionaire Howard Hughes's business aide Maheu, writing with freelancer Hack, recounts how during 30 years, starting in 1957, first in Los Angeles and later in Las Vegas, he not only controlled the world's richest man's financial empire (airlines, mines and casinos) but accumulated a large personal fortune while hobnobbing with the rich and powerful--all without ever meeting the reclusive, phobic tycoon. Maheu's career also involved recruiting Mafia connections to carry out the CIA's abortive plot to assassinate Castro and arranging for his boss's donations to such politicians as Nixon, Humphrey and Bobby Kennedy. The self-righteous book pictures Maheu as victim of a scheme by a "Mormon Mafia" of aides to turn Hughes against him. Having lost his wealth and spent years battling indictments for fraud and in unsuccessful libel suits against Hughes, Maheu nevertheless "cried like a child" upon learning of the boss's mistreatment by his entourage--resulting, alleges Maheu, in Hughes's death. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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