Armand Hammer: The Untold Story

Steve Weinberg, Author Little Brown and Company $22.95 (501p) ISBN 978-0-316-92839-7
With broad archival research and hundreds of interviews (though none with Armand Hammer himself), University of Missouri journalism professor Weinberg portrays in depth a unique 20th-century character. A one-time M.D., capitalist benefactor of an infant U.S.S.R. and friend of Lenin, U.S. importer of Czarist art, big-time post-Prohibition distiller, world-class oil tycoon and self-appointed adviser to seven American presidents, Hammer, now 90, according to the author, used personal contacts with every Soviet leader after Stalin to conduct behind-the-scenes cold-war diplomacy while building up his Occidental Petroleum Co. in Texas, California, Great Britain, the U.S.S.R., Libya, Israel and China. He has bought, sold and given away fine art on a grand scale and donated millions of dollars to medicine, education and cultural exchanges. Weinberg bitingly records Hammer's acute self-esteem, along with alleged sharp practices and questionable dealings. But his ebullient subject's achievements in many directions remain overwhelming. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-517-06282-1
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