Posted with deepest sadness: Epilogue

Janine Maitland, who fled Nazi persecution in Europe and decades later, in events recounted in a book by her daughter, rekindled a romance that she had been forced to leave behind, died March 25 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. She was 90.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

The University of Chicago Magazine runs “American Hustle and Me” by Leslie Maitland

American Hustle is a captivating cinematic take-off on the FBI’s undercover Abscam investigation into political corruption. Leslie – who broke the story in The New York Times in 1980 and produced numerous exclusives on the FBI’s activities – writes about the movie and the actual operation in the latest issue of the University of Chicago Magazine.  Click here to read the piece: The University of Chicago Magazine: American Hustle and Me.

Through links below, you can access a number of Leslie’s original stories on the controversial sting operation aimed at corruption in Congress. The rest of her extensive Abscam coverage is available online through the archives of The New York Times.

Click here for Leslie’s analysis of the case in The New York Times Magazine of July 25, 1982.

New York Times: “At the Heart of the Abscam Debate”


Click here for the first piece that made Abscam headlines across the nation in 1980.

New York Times: “High Officials are Termed Subjects of a Bribery Investigation by the FBI”


Click here to read about the conflict that raged among Federal prosecutors over the FBI’s Abscam tactics and the question of entrapment.

New York Times: “Entrapment Issue Splits Prosecutors In Abscam Actions”


Click here for an exclusive account of how a wily con man used inside knowledge of Abscam to run a private sting, bilking thousands of dollars from private citizens.

New York Times: “Informer for FBI Suspected of Using Abscam in Swindles”


Click here to read criticism of the FBI’s Abscam informant, Mel Weinberg, as presented to the Senate Select Committee that held hearings on undercover operations in 1982.

New York Times: “F.B.I. Is Criticized on Its Informant”


Click here to read how comedy and danger were mingled in the actual Abscam operation, which relied on the use of a bogus Arab sheik, not unlike the movie version.

New York Times: “In Abscam Inquiry, Comedy And Danger Were Mingled”


NPR’s Diane Rehm Show

Join the talk on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on Wednesday, August 21 at 11 am, when Leslie will be discussing Muriel Spark’s novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Diane and other guests. Just in time for the start of school! [link]

Washington Independent Review of Books Interview

The Washington Independent Review of Books interview with Leslie Maitland regarding the challenges involved in writing intimately and honestly about one’s own family just went online. This was interviewer Annette Gendler’s first probing question:

Crossing the Borders of Time is an extraordinary story because it is true. However, writers of family memoirs often struggle with writing about people near and dear to them, and worry how those people will feel when private details are revealed. Did you struggle at all with this? Did you consider taking the easier route of fictionalizing it?

Find the full interview here.


614 Online Magazine Runs Interview with Leslie

The online magazine of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute just ran an interview with me based on probing questions by writer and editor-in-chief Michelle Cove. The name of the magazine — 614 — has an interesting origin that Cove explains like this:

“In Judaism there are 613 mitzvot—commandments we Jews are all intended to follow. Some Jews feel these commandments, compiled by Maimonides, must be followed because they come directly from God; others suggest they are simply reasonable acts of justice and compassion intended to help us reach our best, most ethical selves. Either way, it’s an extremely comprehensive list, including everything from eating matzah on Passover and lighting Sabbath candles to giving money to charity and not bearing a grudge. The idea of 614 is not that there is one commandment missing. Rather, it is about the idea there is always room for innovation and exploration.”