For All Nails #86: The World Joan Made
NCCC affiliate, Boston, Mass., Northern Confederation
11:43pm Eastern Time, March 5th, 1973
The vitavision screen shows a woman in a white tennis outfit (white collar
shirt and knee-length white skirt) standing in a locker room
...feel confident, the confidence that comes from wearing Fresh
We DISSOLVE to a close-up of a bottle of Fresh anti-perspirant against a
black background. To the bottle's right are the words FEEL FRESH ALL DAY in
white block letters.
Fresh anti-perspirant, so you can feel fresh all day.
In the bottom right corner of the screen a small stylized representation of
the Kramerica Building appears, along with the words WE'RE KRAMERICA in small
white sans serif letters.
We CUT to a still photo of the Hoboken Strip at night, every neon sign from
every casino is lit up in a gaudy explosion of light. The words CLOSING TIME
WITH WALT MACANUFF appear in white in the upper left corner. The MUSIC is an
instrumental cover of Simon Carleigh's "Is Love Vain?"
We DISSOLVE to a shot of Shaeffer & Maroni's Genuine New Orleans Band as they
bring "Is Love Vain?" to a quick conclusion. The AUDIENCE applauds, and we
CUT to a shot of Walt MacAnuff seated at his stool as he applauds along with
Thanks, boys, that was great!
The applause dies down, and MacAnuff turns to face the camera.
Our first guest tonight is the author of two bestselling history books.
She's here tonight to tell us about her latest book, _The Kronmiller
Conspiracy_. She's young, she's personable, and she's easy on the
Raise your glasses for Joan Kahn!
The AUDIENCE applauds again. The Walt camera PANS to the left to track the
entrance of an attractive blonde woman in her early thirties. An OTL viewer
might initially mistake her for a young Gloria Steinem. She is wearing a
white blouse, a calf-length black skirt, sensible shoes, and round spectacles
with oversize tortoiseshell frames.
MacAnuff, ever the gentleman, rises from his stool with the help of his cane,
and shakes her hand. Kahn smiles at MacAnuff, and leans over to give him a
kiss on the cheek. The AUDIENCE makes a collective "Ooooooh" sound as
MacAnuff blushes. The two take their seats.
Joan, thanks for being here tonight.
Thanks for having me, Walt.
Joan, you've made a career out of writing controversial books.
What made you decide to take up investigative history as a career?
Well, I've always enjoyed solving puzzles. My father would buy me
these puzzle books, and I'd just eat them up. Then I started reading
mystery books, especially the Herakles Perry novels.
_Murder on the Flaglerville Express_.
Exactly! I loved that book. Then in high school I read Boatwright's
biography of Pedro Hermión, and I got hooked on the mystery of
his assassination. The thing is, after the assassination, there was so
much suspicion directed at Miguel Huddleston, that when the
Fuentes Commission cleared him of complicity in Hermión's death,
everyone decided that Zangora must have been acting alone.
The "lone gunner" theory.
That's right. And ever since then, anyone who rejects the "lone gunner"
theory just goes back to trying to prove the Huddleston conspiracy
theory, which is even less likely. But living here in the Northern
Confederation, I had access to records that weren't available to the
Fuentes Commission, or anyone else in the USM for that matter.
So I was able to discover the Mendoza connection between Henry
Gilpin and Emiliano Zangora.
I should point out here that not everybody found your "Mendoza
(Shrugs.) That's the history business for you. Apart from the
Huddleston theory supporters like Menzer, there are plenty of people
like George Loring who still idolize Gilpin, and refuse to believe he
could have plotted Hermión's death. But the evidence is there, for
anyone with an open mind who wants to look at it.
Let's move on to your current book, _The Kronmiller Conspiracy_.
Once again you take an unorthodox view of an episode in Mexican
history, the fall of Benito Hermión in 1901.
(Nods.) Well, the popular view today is that KA President Diego
Cortez y Catalán was the driving force behind El Jefe's overthrow.
But it's important to remember that all our information about Cortez's
role comes from heavily-edited exerpts from his personal papers that
were released by his successor, John Jackson.
Are you saying that the Cortez Papers were forgeries?
Not forgeries, no. They tell the truth, but not the whole truth.
Jackson had his own reasons for releasing the Cortez Papers. By the
late 1930s, Jackson had come to believe that Kramer Associates was a
global power in its own right, and he wanted to emphasize the
company's power and influence. So he released a version of Cortez's
private journals and correspondence that made it seem that Cortez was
the mastermind behind the overthrow of Hermión. For their own
reasons, anti-Kramer historians like Frank Dana have also chosen to
emphasize the company's influence on Mexican history, so the idea
that Cortez pulled all the strings from behind the scenes has become
the conventional wisdom. I've tried to look past the conventional
That sounds like what you did in your second book, the one about the
Yes, that's right. In the case of the Kinkaid assassination, the anti-
Kramer historians blame Kramer and Benedict, and everyone else
either blames Rogers or Concepción. I chose to look beyond what
you might call "the usual suspects", and I found evidence among
declassified CBI documents of a plot directed against Kinkaid by
In the case of Benito Hermión, I've chosen to de-emphasize Cortez's
role in an effort to see what other influences were involved in
Hermión's fall. And when you look past Cortez, what you see is
Now, I'm no history whizz, but even I know that Kronmiller was never
Governor-General, so how could he be responsible for Hermión's fall?
Kronmiller may not have been the king, but he was certainly the
kingmaker. He engineered Gallivan's ouster, and he played a pivotal
role in Burgen's selection to replace him. And the whole point of
removing Gallivan, remember, was Kronmiller's belief that Gallivan
was ignoring the threat posed by Hermión. It's no coincidence that
Hermión was ousted three months after Gallivan. Removing Gallivan
was the first step to removing Hermión.
Just how certain are you about all this? How conclusive is the
Well, there's always a certain amount of deductive reasoning
involved. When there's no direct evidence, you have to do your
best using indirect evidence. How certain am I that Kronmiller
orchestrated Hermión's ouster? Not a hundred percent. But I /do/
hope that I've established a reasonable case, one that's at least as
reasonable as the standard case against Diego Cortez y Catalán.
Have you ever thought about investigating something more recent
than the 19th century? I'm sure there are plenty of mysteries to be
found in the modern world.
(Ponders for a second or two.) One or two, yes. Mind you, there are
plenty of investigative reporters who specialize in current affairs.
And of course we still have to deal with the legacies of Gilpin and
McDowell, which can make it difficult for a private citizen to reveal
matters that the government would prefer to keep hidden. Timothy
Liddy is much more careful with his own secrets than he was with John
I suppose Liddy's successor will find plenty to occupy his interest when
he gains access to the CBI's records.
That's assuming he /does/ gain access to them.
Surely you don't think Director Liddy would tamper with the Bureau's
(Visibly restraining herself.) Walt, one thing I've learned in my work
is that there are /always/ attempts to conceal the truth. But I've also
learned that such attempts are invariably doomed to failure. The
truth always comes out. And that goes for the present as well as
Well, it's certainly food for thought. Thanks for coming by, Joan, and
good luck with _The Kronmiller Conspiracy_.
Thank you, Walt. I enjoyed my visit.
And we'll be right back with comedian Martin Stevens after this brief
message from North American Motors.
The AUDIENCE applauds as the camera PULLS BACK from MacAnuff and Kahn. The
band starts playing an instrumental cover of the Lokes' "Moving in Binaural"
FADE TO BLACK