The Dark Side of Power: The Real Armand Hammer

Carl Blumay, Author, Henry Edwards, With Simon & Schuster $24.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70053-9
In this relentlessly grim portrait of Armand Hammer, his former public relations consultant Blumay and journalist and novelist Edwards characterize the powerful international businessman as a skinflint, a womanizer, a liar, a browbeater of his staff and, above all, a man obsessed with money, power and fame. Ironically, Blumay in this book undoes his 25-year-long attempt to build an image of Hammer (1898-1990) as ``caring, compassionate and wise.'' Unfortunately, the book lacks an organized overview and, although it proceeds chronologically, it is difficult to follow. Moreover, while Blumay offers insider details, the book strains credibility. It lacks both footnotes and bibliography, relies on deceased sources such as Hammer's brother Victor for damaging information and serves up numerous verbatim quotes from decades-old conversations. Armand Hammer, Steve Weinberg's 1989 biography, remains the standard. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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