Dangerous Obsessions

Review of The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, by Sidney Zion, and Citizen Cohn, by Nicholas von Hoffman. New York Times, April 3, 1988.

”I went to work for Joe McCarthy in January 1953,” Roy Cohn told Sidney Zion, ”and was gone by the fall of ’54.

Less than two years. But a lifetime was packed into it, and more if obituaries tell the tale. Does anybody doubt how mine will open? ‘Roy M. Cohn, who served as chief counsel to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy . . .’ Which is exactly how I want it to read.” He got his wish. That was exactly how it did read, all over America, when he died of AIDS in August of 1986 at the age of 59. But now the post-mortems have begun, and the picture we get is stranger by far than that of a baby-faced 26-year-old anti-Communist who somehow managed to dominate the front pages in the 1950’s…

New York Times