The O’Dell File
Kindle Single, 2014
The general public has never heard of Jack O’Dell. But many who worked with him consider him the unsung hero of the Black Freedom Movement. O’Dell, a close confidant of Martin Luther King, Jr., was described by J. Edgar Hoover as “the number five Communist in the United States,” cited as a reason for the wiretapping of MLK, and forced out of King’s inner circle. Drawing on secret government files and interviews with O’Dell himself, Navasky reveals O’Dell’s unique organizing capacity and brilliant mind, and laments what we lost in disqualifying him from the Civil Rights movement.
Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq: The Experts Speak
Simon & Schuster, 2008 (with Christopher Cerf, Robert Grossman)
“Victor Navasky and Christopher Cerf’s shrewd, lucid and tragically funny compilation of ‘experts’ offering their (erroneous, comically misguided, and even outright false) thoughts on the Iraq war…is sure to become one of the essential reads for those trying to remember how the Iraq fiasco came to be.”—Huffington Post
A Matter of Opinion
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005
“This memoir recounts myriad tempests in teapots (and some not so trifling), lawsuits, donnybrooks, controversies and lines drawn in the sand. If the New Republic is where liberals address Washington, The Nation is where liberals talk among themselves. Navasky discusses many of his lively charges and colleagues (Trillin, Ephron, Hitchens, Sontag), and relates his thinking behind some of his most important decisions as an editor.” —Publishers Weekly
The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation
Pantheon Books, 1984 (with Christopher Cerf)
“The Experts Speak collects hundreds of the dumbest predictions ever made by newspapers, critics, and business executives such as an L.A. surgeon’s assessment that ‘smoking has a beneficial effect,’ a Decca Records exec’s brainstorm that ‘groups of guitars are on their way out’ after auditioning the Beatles, and BusinessWeek’s insistence that the ‘Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself.’ Lots of fun.” —Library Journal
“An astonishing work concerning personal honor and dishonor, shame and shamelessness. A book of stunning insights and suspense.” —Studs Terkel
Half a century later, the investigation of Hollywood radicals by the House Committee on Un-American Activities still haunts the public conscience. Naming Names, reissued here with a new afterword by the author, is the definitive account of the hearings, a National Book Award winner widely hailed as a classic.
A National Book Award Finalist. Nowhere was the clash between idealism and expediency that characterized the Kennedy brothers more apparent during their years in power than at the crossroads of the American legal system, the Department of Justice. This story of how the moral measure of their leadership was most severely tested—how boldly were imperiled liberties championed; how effectively were overlords of corruption prosecuted; how wisely were judges picked; how well, in short, was justice served—had never been told before.