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Purple Dots


83 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679452370 / ISBN 13: 9780679452379
Published by Random House, New York, 1998
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

8vo. Black and grey cloth, pictorial price-clipped dust jacket. 262pp. Very good/near fine. Stain on outer pages edges. Tight and nice first edition of this spy thriller involving the new CIA director -- boldly signed and inscribed by the prolific news journalist in black fineline on the title page: "Happy Birthday, Judy -- / From Jeannie & Me -- / Jim Lehrer / Nov, 1998." Laid in is a 4pp leaflet regarding a Lehrer appearance at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Bookseller Inventory # 33284

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Purple Dots

Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Washington, D.C., is a town full of powerful people with powerful, often conflicting agendas, and no one knows this better than Jim Lehrer, the preeminent capital newscaster and novelist. His new book is a witty, provocative political mystery about power play and favor swapping at the highest levels of government, written with his own unique blend of political savvy and irreverent humor.
Joshua Bennett has just been nominated by the president to be the new director of the CIA. He's the ideal candidate, and everyone agrees his confirmation hearing should be a mere formality. But this is Washington, where nothing as straightforward as choosing the most qualified person for a crucial job can be counted upon. Unfortunately for Bennett, someone's political agenda hinges on his confirmation being vetoed, but he's damned if he can find out whose. In need of good covert help he can trust, Bennett turns to a little known but highly efficient cadre of former CIA spies living in semiretirement in nearby West Virginia. This odd team of sixty-plus-year-old spooks, boasting a combined array of exceptional if eccentric and largely illegal talents, embarks upon a wildly unorthodox Washington power struggle that is no less earnest for being conducted in absolute secrecy. And most secret of all is the highly coveted purple dot--the ultimate national perk.
Following the enormous breakout success of Lehrer's bestselling previous novel, White Widow, Purple Dots will fascinate and amuse even more readers, while confirming their worst fears about how our government really operates.


Charlie Henderson's favorite poet is Po Chu-i, a 9th-century Chinese who wrote, when he hit 60, "I have put behind me Love and Greed. I have done with Profit and Fame. I am still short of illness and decay and far from decrepit age." But Mary Jane, Charlie's wife, "sometimes saw Charlie's fondness for the words less a belief in a poetic creed than as proof that he had simply moved into his second childhood. Charlie claimed he had been lucky enough never to have had to end his first, having gone directly from high school to college to the U.S. Navy and then to the Central Intelligence Agency without missing a beat or being forced to do anything other than little-boy work." Charlie now helps his wife run a small, upscale West Virginia hotel where for $450 a night guests get to eat turtle soup amontillado and hear about how George Washington once had a meal in the same room. He's also one of the two narrators of veteran PBS newsman Jim Lehrer's sly and satisfying new political thriller. The other is a much tougher and more ambitious young Republican senatorial assistant named Marty Madigan, who works for a New Mexico conservative bent on keeping Henderson's best friend Josh Bennett from becoming the new CIA director.

Lehrer mostly plays fair with both sides, poking fun at Washington/Langley treats and privileges--such as the purple dots on license plates, which warn off police tow trucks. But you might come away thinking he's more sympathetic to Charlie and his gang of past and present spooks, who cluster in the lovely country towns around Washington and run antique toy stores or restore old dairy trucks while hatching plans to make sure Bennett gets the top job. Purple Dots is a richly detailed, highly amusing, and even occasionally suspenseful story from the author of Crown Oklahoma, Kick the Can, The Sooner Spy, and White Widow. --Dick Adler

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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