Friday, March 26, 2021


Our guest is ALEC KLEIN, Bestselling Author and Award-Winning Investigative Journalist formerly of The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal to talk about an incident involving Alexi McCammond—who is out of an editor-in-chief position at Teen Vogue because of Anti-Asian messages she tweeted when she was 17. 


Klein’s groundbreaking investigations have uncovered a wide array of wrongdoing, leading to significant reforms, congressional hearings, changes in federal law, criminal convictions and more than half a billion dollars in government fines. His investigations have also set free several prisoners who were wrongfully convicted of murder and accused of other crimes. His investigations have set free many inmates who had been wrongly convicted or excessively sentenced to life in prison. And Alec has helped dozens of excessively sentenced women gain their freedom and regain their lives through parole, commutations and pardons. His first book, Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner, was a national bestseller published by Simon & Schuster. The book was translated into Japanese and Chinese, excerpted in Great Britain and selected as one of the “Best Business Books” by Library Journal and Strategy + Business. His second book of nonfiction, A Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America’s Best High Schools, also published by Simon & Schuster, was named “One of the Best Education Books of the Year” by the American School Board Journal and translated into Chinese, where it went through several printings. His memoir, Aftermath: When It Felt Like Life Was Over, published by Republic Book Publishers, is a story about faith, forgiveness and redemption. Alec is the founder and head of Matthew 56 Consulting, LLC, and Matthew 56 Investigations, LLC.


Publisher: Republic Book Publishers; (May 22, 2020)

For years, Alec Klein investigated cases where people faced the nightmare of wrongful accusations. Suddenly, he found himself on the other side, falsely accused himself. In a coordinated media attack, he was accused of misconduct as a professor at a top U.S. university, and in a rush to judgment, before he had a chance to defend himself, his life was destroyed. What happens when you have little hope? In the aftermath, Alec gravitated to the unlikeliest of places, among the unlikeliest of people, doing the unlikeliest of things. This is a first-person true story about faith, forgiveness and redemption. 


More on this article written for the Los Angeles Time by its writer, JAMES RESTON, JR., who is also the author of 18 Books, Three Plays, and Numerous Articles in National Magazines.


The Jan. 6 attack on Congress takes its place next to the other terrible national traumas of the past 60 years — the JFK assassination, the race riots of 1967-68, the Challenger space shuttle crash and 9/11. Like those other shocks to our national consciousness, Jan. 6 demands a seminal, sweeping account of what happened and why, a summation that anchors how that day is remembered for generations to come.

Reston is also winner of Prix Italia and the Dupont-Columbia Award for his chilling 1983 ninety-minute radio documentary on National Public Radio, “Father Cares: the Last of Jonestown.” His last five historical works, Galileo: A Life, The Last Apocalypse, Warriors of God, Dogs of God, and Defenders of the Faith have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. Warriors of God and Collision at Home Plate have been optioned by Hollywood. The Last Apocalypse was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club. Warriors of God is an international best seller with over 200,000 copies sold world-wide and still selling. Fragile Innocence, his memoir of bringing up his handicapped daughter, reached #8 on the Washington Post best seller list. In 1976-1977, Reston was David Frost’s Watergate adviser for the famous Frost/​Nixon Interviews, seen by 57 million people world-wide. His narrative of that experience was published in 2007 and entitled The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/​Nixon Interviews and was the main inspiration to the British playwright, Peter Morgan, in the making of his hit London play, “Frost/​Nixon.” Reston is a major character and the narrator of the play. In the Hollywood adaptation of the play, directed by Ron Howard, and nominated for five Academy Awards, Reston is played by the actor, Sam Rockwell. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Esquire, American Theatre, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. He recently contributed the Foreword to the National Geographic book, Eyewitness to History. In recent years he has lectured widely in the United States (Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Center) and overseas on the millennium, the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Ottomans at Vienna, citing their relevance to modern issues. He has been a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, a fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. Reston was an assistant to U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Steward Udall, 1964-65. U.S. Army, 1965-68. Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of North Carolina, 1971-81. Newsweek, PBS, and BBC candidate to be the first writer on the NASA space shuttle.

THE 19TH HIJACKER: A NOVEL, by James Reston Jr. (Author)

Publisher: Republic Book Publishers (February 23, 2021)

Everyone knows what happened on September 11, 2001. But do we really know what was behind this act of war? What was the lure? What was it about the Hamburg cell that appealed to him? What lured this educated son of a successful Lebanese family to the jihadist message of destruction and annihiliation that would result in the death of 3170 Americans? These questions torment Sami Haddad as he pondered his choice, in August of 2001, whether or not to join the 9-ll hijackers. Through a series of tape recordings which Sami had made in the months before the operation, he tells his beautiful and feisty Turkish-German lover, Karima Ilgun, of his first meeting with Muhammad Atta in Hamburg, of his training in Afghanistan under the watchful eye of Al Qaeda’s military chief, of his meeting with Osama bin Ladin where he swears his oath of allegiance, and of his final months of preparation in Florida where he comes to loath Muhammad Atta but cannot find the courage to flee. A sense of doubt and skepticism suffuses his musings to her, but also of weakness. After the attack on 9/11, Kommissar Recht, a rumpled German government investigator), is tasked to ferret out Karima’s role, if any, as an Al Qaeda operative. He comes to suspect that she is withholding valuable evidence, but under German privacy law he is barred from employing strong-arm tactics that would force her to talk. Surviving members of the Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg also suspect Karima is hiding Sami’s tapes. To them Sami’s recollections are sacred artifacts of what they deemed to be their successful mission, but they fear his presentation of the attack might be something less than heroic. Karima is caught between these two forces, either of which could have terrible consequences for her. How she resolves this dilemma is the climax of the novel.


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