Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Founders' Plot by Frank Victoria

Publisher: New Shelves Publishing Services
Published: 07 January 2014
Format: Paperback 352 pages
See: Full bibliographic data
Categories: Political & Legal
ISBN 13: 9780984655977 ISBN 10: 0984655972


Debut author Victoria’s topical thriller follows the political and personal reverberations of a tough and controversial immigration law in California. Newly elected California Gov. Michael DiGrasso doggedly pursues the passage of a law that would make his state inhospitable to illegal immigrants and stanch their flow over porous borders. He encounters opposition from multiple quarters: Senate Minority Leader Elizabeth Stern proves a devious and underhanded adversary, while a radical group of subterranean political activists, the Reconquistas, look to undermine DiGrasso through both targeted and mass violence. Even the Supreme Court takes a swing, declaring the new law unconstitutional. Undaunted, DiGrasso presses on, defying the Supreme Court and igniting a tempestuous national debate on the proper role of the federal courts. Meanwhile, the story tracks the embattled lives of two Mexican families struggling to make a home in a country that promises opportunity... Victoria does a deft job drawing out the human context of a legislative tug of war, detailing the many ways public discourse misses the complex consequences of major policy. And while the narrator clearly favors a conservative interpretation of the issue, he avoids any ideological axe-grinding or simplistic caricatures. The story unfolds at a brisk pace but sometimes flirts with haste, glossing over major developments … At times, the content of the debate regarding judicial review borders on didactic, but for readers looking for a constitutional primer on federalism wrapped in fictional drama, those sections of the novel might be more enlightening than pedantic. For readers on the hunt for a fictional account of a contemporary political dispute, this is a competent if not inspiring option. Kirkus Reviews

Clarion Reviews – Five Stars: … an
intriguing and rich novel. The char-
acters, dialogue, and plot will
entertain readers…to the end.

Kirkus Reviews: … for a fictional
account of a contemporary political
dispute, this is a competent if not
inspiring option.

When California Governor Michael J. DiGrasso pushes through a tough immigration law, the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, but the decorated Vietnam veteran refuses to accept the ruling. This ignites a clash between federal, state, and judicial power that threatens to jar the country’s political and justice systems. And it leaves the governor’s long-time friend, President of the United States, Martin W. Ballard, with the decision of whether to federalize the California National Guard to enforce the Court’s order.

Tension increases when Elizabeth Stern, a savvy member of the opposition party tries to ram through a new immigration law that will pass judicial review. An expert in back-room legislative machinations, she’ll go to any length to force the governor to obey the Court decision, and her devious maneuvers throw DiGrasso’s personal and professional life into turmoil.

One subplot involves DiGrasso’s close personal friend, Congressman Manuel Mendoza, who is indicted for taking bribes. Another concerns two Mexican families in the country illegally and the tragedies that befall them because of the new immigration law.

The unfolding of these interwoven events creates a tense, fast-paced thriller that parallels the current tumult over illegal immigration and the on-going debate on Constitutional interpretation that will leave readers craving for the eventual outcome.

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Photo Content from Frank Victoria

Frank Victoria was born and raised in Chicago, a city rich in industry and ambitions and many of his ideas were molded by its brand of politics and immigrant culture. He served in the Marine Corps, which left an imprint of just how much he could do and helped create the persistence needed to earn his BA in Journalism from Northern Illinois University.

It took him nearly eight years to get the degree because he repeatedly had to interrupt his studies with full-time work to pay for his expenses. He toiled on the docks loading and unloading freight, moved furniture, worked construction, was a cabbie, a shoe salesman and a factory worker. The payoff: Time in the ivory tower setting balanced by a nitty gritty education in the real world.

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