Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story

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Minnesota Historical Society, 2007 - True Crime - 240 pages
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On a spring day in 1961, over-the-road trucker Jim Harper was en route from Mauston, Wisconsin, to his home in Minneapolis. At 70 miles per hour, with a combined 60,000 pounds of man, machine, and material, he approached a curve along the Great River Road and hit the brakes. The tractor-trailer didn't slow. Harper's brake lines had been cut.

In preceding months, Harper had led an insurgency in his Teamsters' Local 544 to clean up corruption among its leaders. His efforts drew the attention of none other than Jimmy Hoffa, at the time focused on securing his right to lead the national Teamsters organization without government intervention.

Jim Harper had his reasons for confronting his local's leadership--a hardscrabble childhood and a stint in Angola prison had left him seeking redemption, and Jimmy Hoffa had publicly called for union reform. But Hoffa, under federal investigation for questionable financial dealings, had deep, dark secrets; the last thing he needed was a spotlight on Minneapolis. Despite the increasing threats to his life and those of his young family, Harper continued to press his case.

In this fascinating account, Harper's son traces the interwoven paths of these two men--a criminal icon and a determined vigilante--from their formative years through their unbelievable face-off.

Accolades for Crossing Hoffa:

Best Books of 2007, Chicago Tribune

Best Books, 2008 New York Book Festival

"Honorable Mention" in the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival's Biography/Autobiography category.
 

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User Review  - madamepince - LibraryThing

Slightly drawn out story, but the premise (an ex-con who's found redemption in family and a middle class life finds himself locked in a life or death struggle with corrupt, powerful figures) is as American as apple pie and the conclusion is satisfying. Where's Sean Penn? Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
3
ONE THE EARLY YEARS
11
Flashpoint
13
The Sins of the Father
17
Minneapolis Launches Hoffas Career
22
Jim Harpers Story UnfoldsAnd Unravels
25
Angola
31
Leaving Angola and Finding Mary
46
Hoffas Minneapolis Travails
123
The Audit
127
Hoffa Visits Minneapolis Again
130
Hoffas Rules of Order
137
The Calm Between the Storms
141
Hoffa Seeks an Oval Office Ally
145
Threats and a Wire
152
Reopened Wounds Start to Bleed
156

Hoffas Supporting Players
51
A Tangled Web
56
TWO COLLISION COURSE
63
Harper Joins the Teamsters
65
Hoffas AscentAnd His Minnesota Connections
73
The Insurgency That Would Not Go Away
79
Hoffas Biggest Minneapolis Problem
82
Hoffa Feels the Heat and Looks for Help
87
THREE IMPACT
93
Harper Helps HoffaOr So He Thinks
95
Let the Games Begin
100
Nothing Worthwhile Is Easy
105
On Top of the World
109
Things Fall Apart
115
Federal Visitors
119
Lug Nuts
163
A Dangerous Game
167
The Panel and the Charges
170
Another Drive Down the River Road
174
The Hearing
179
The 1961 International Convention
186
FOUR AFTERMATH
191
Harper Starts Over Again
193
Hoffas Failures
196
Harpers Success
200
Epilogue
203
Notes
219
Sources and References
235
Acknowledgments
239
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About the author (2007)

Steven J Harper has been a litigation partner in the international law firm of Kirkland and Ellis LLP for more than twenty years and has tried civil cases to judges and juries throughout the country. This is his first book

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