Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dirty Trickster, Corporate Spy by Martin D. Kelly (Review and Giveaway)

I'm not one to read political books, but I do get drawn to memoirs of people who have done wrong things and regretted them. Check out my review and enter to win a copy.

Book Details:

Book Title: Dirty Trickster, Corporate Spy by Martin D. Kelly
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 410 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Strategic Media Books
Release date: August 2018
Tour dates: Jan 14 to 25, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (One sex scene but humorous rather than explicit; some 4-letter words)

Book Description:

Not until Dirty Trickster, Corporate Spy does a memoir exist by one of the principal Watergate saboteurs-provocateurs that exposes the full extent of the insalubrious side of politics and negative campaigning. And that is not all: After Watergate, Kelly became a corporate security consultant that provided undercover agents for client companies to spy on their employees. Kelly also specialized in eavesdropping detection, which took him around the world searching for clandestine listening devices for clients such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Ferdinand Marcos, the Miami Dolphins, Eastern Airlines and even suspected drug dealers. He secretly provided debugging training for entities such as IBM, Revlon, the U.S. Navy and dozens of others.

During President Nixon's second term when the Watergate scandal erupted, Kelly teamed with Donald Segretti in a wild series of underhanded capers that created havoc in the Democratic presidential primaries. Kelly and Segretti turned a fundraising dinner for front-runner Senator Ed Muskie at the Washington Hilton into absolute chaos; hired a University of Miami coed to strip naked and parade before Muskie's hotel; released two mice and a bird that threw a Muskie press conference into total confusion; organized fake luncheons, fake press releases, and other unscrupulous acts. The aim of the Nixon White House and Committee to Reelect the President was for the dirty tricksters to sow discontent among the Democratic primary candidates so they would blame each other for the dirty tricks, making it more difficult for them to unite in the general election against Nixon. The author was one of only three witnesses who testified specifically about dirty tricks before the Senate Watergate Committee.

Initial chapters reveal how dirty tricks were covertly planned and executed, how Kelly dealt with special prosecutors, investigators, Karl Rove, Watergate Judge John Sirica, the FBI, an inebriated Senator Ted Kennedy, the seven U.S. Senators on the Senate Watergate Committee, Bernstein and Woodward, Lesley Stahl and others in the media. Mid chapters expose inside secrets on successful tactics for public-office seekers or those climbing the rough-and-tumble steps of internal party politics.

In final chapters, Kelly unveils the widespread corporate spying that is going on in America to this day, with amazing examples from his security consulting career as a covert industrial undercover agent and secret mystery shopper who spied on all levels of employees. Kelly also fully discloses his role as a polygraph examiner and interrogator with hilarious anecdotes as well as how polygraph can be beaten. Even more controversial examples are revealed from Kelly's specialized international work as a detector of clandestine listening devices, complete with the tools and tricks of the trade.

With an intriguing yet amusing style, Kelly names names and holds back nothing in Dirty Trickster, Corporate Spy.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I'm not one to read political books, but I do get drawn to memoirs of people who have done wrong things and regretted them. I guess it's that part of me that likes to understand what drives people to do certain foolish things.

In Martin Douglas Kelly's case, from his youth he was one to play tricks and pranks on others, harmless for the most part, until he started getting involved in the dirty side of politics which seemed to come by being involved with the wrong people. It is clear from reading this memoir that Kelly is a smart, quick-witted guy who thinks fast on his feet. Too bad he wasted those smarts in his youth on doing unsavory things. 

Kelly's penchant for playing practical jokes has him describing them throughout the book, which makes for a humorous read, except when they went too far. Martin states plainly in his memoir that after all these years he is finally ready to come forward "to set the record straight and fill in the blanks, since no one directly involved with the Watergate black advance effort has done so."

Kelly goes into great detail about the stuff he's done, which for those who are into politics, would be just fine, however, it was sometimes too much for me. However, Kelly's writing style is easy to read and he is entertaining, forthright and regretful of his past actions. After his role in Watergate destroyed any political ambitions he may have had, Kelly turned to a career in security-consulting, which once again made for a very interesting life. I actually liked this part of the memoir more than the political confessions.

With all that we read today about American elections, Trump's presidential blunders and Facebook and Google spying on their users, this memoir is not as shocking as one would think. It's actually quite timely. Kelly does act with integrity with his security-consulting business, turning down jobs he knew involved the Mafia or drug dealers.

The author includes a bibliography and an index, which surprised me for a memoir but it actually makes sense because he mentions and talks about several historical figures and events, and they are easy to find using the index. I think that this book would be an interesting and enlightening read for students in political science studies and anyone interested in the history of politics.

To read reviews, please visit Martin D. Kelly's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Martin D. "Doug" Kelly is a successful author and freelance writer who resides in Clearwater, Florida. A rising Republican activist in college, his role in Watergate dashed any political ambitions. He thereafter engaged in a security-consulting career that included spying on the workforces of corporate America, during which time he also become renowned internationally as a locator of clandestine listening devices. When not fishing and playing golf, Kelly contributes travel- and outdoors-related articles for a variety of publications and co-hosts a weekly syndicated radio talk show.

Connect with Martin: Twitter

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  1. My family and I all appreciate you bringing to our attention the book description of another great book to read. Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you, James, I wanted to lay bare the details of how the dirty tricks in Watergate were played along with the tactics and strategy. Some say my work as a corporate spy interested them more than the political goings on, so hopefully my memoir will be something you'll appreciate.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Gwendolyn. We took a long time to come up with a cover we felt expressed the dual roles I played.

  4. Replies
    1. Please do so, Bridgett. There's an email address at the bottom of pg V1 (Prologue). Let me know your thoughts if you do read it.

  5. Sounds like a very interesting read! Can't wait to check it out!

  6. Thanks Janet. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  7. Heather Hayes PanjonJanuary 28, 2019 at 8:19 AM

    Sounds like a great book, adding to my MUST read list!


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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