Many of my readers have asked which books I would recommend that offer fundamental insights into the drive for personal power, and the way it affects individuals. Numerous authors have tackled this subject in memoirs, novels and plays.
Earth is a big, messy place with nations and cultures whose actions stem from deep history and habits that have little or nothing to do with big, self-absorbed, inward-looking America and its five percent of the world population.
O'Hara's admiration for Fitzgerald's first novel This Side of Paradise is well documented -- he fell in love with the book, that's how he put it. It's not surprising to find Fitzgerald the author he had to copy, and try to surmount.
As a former prosecutor, I have seen first-hand the critical importance of pursuing justice with no regard for special interests. That is because a district attorney should never play politics with people's lives. Charles Hynes clearly thinks differently.
A large segment of the letters -- the first written when he was not quite 8 -- are juvenilia and could be the sentiments of any young whippersnapper. Yet there are occasional hints at what would become the acclaimed Hemingway mode of between-hard-covers expression.