The Amendment
John Fitzgerald
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The Amendment

John J. Fitzgerald
223 pages
January 2005
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The story behind the greatest scandal in the history of the American presidency is taken to sinister new levels in The Amendment. This debut novel imagines a cold guiding hand, fueled by money and power, playing a manipulative game behind the political scene in the years leading up to the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation. The audacious goal: to secure the presidency for one of the richest, most ambitious politicians of the era.

Jude Thaddeus is a brilliant but enigmatic chess master whose Harvard education facilitates an acquaintance with a politics professor by the name of Henry Kissinger. Kissinger's friendship with the wildly rich governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, sparks a bold idea big enough even to challenge Jude's perfectly plotting mind: to maneuver the players on the political landscape into a position where Rockefeller can realize his dream of becoming president - for a price.

So begins a brazen but calculated game to control the corridors of power. Strategically placing pawns who will become more trusted than family and playing upon the ambitions of political movers and shakers, Jude Thaddeus embarks on an odyssey of artful exploitation that will rock a nation's faith in its leaders and win the greatest prize imaginable: the Oval Office.

John J. Fitzgerald ties together seemingly disparate historical events, connecting political dots like a veteran conspiracy theorist and constructing a grandiose alternate history. While the plot, like the tale it tells, is audacious, the novel suffers from the typical weaknesses of self-published books - prose elements like dialogue and characterization could use a friendly editorial boost, and more-than-occasional punctuation problems hitch the story's flow.

Still, the bold re-imagining of the events leading up to the turmoil of the Watergate scandal will prove too intriguing for many fans of political thrillers to resist. The what-ifs are as plausible (in an unfortunate statement on our current political reality) as they are outrageous, indeed almost addictive. It well might have happened so...

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at

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