Hardback
September 6, 2022
9781684351879
English
242
124 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.16 Pounds (US)
$60.00 USD, £47.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
September 6, 2022
9781684351886
English
242
124 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$22.00 USD, £17.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

So Much Bad in the Best of Us

The Salacious and Audacious Life of John W. Talbot

From supreme president to forgotten enemy, John W. Talbot lived a remarkable life. Charismatic, energetic, and powerful, he founded a national fraternal organization, the Order of Owls, and counted senators, congressmen, and business leaders among his friends. He wielded his influence to help causes close to his heart but also to bring down those who stood against him.

In So Much Bad in the Best of Us, Greta Fisher's careful research reveals that Talbot was capable of great evil, causing one woman to describe him as "the Devil Incarnate." His string of very public affairs revealed his strange sexual preferences and violent tendencies, and charges leveled against him included perjury, blackmail, jury tampering, slander, libel, misuse of the mail, assault with intent to kill, and White slavery. Ultimately convicted on the slavery charge, he spent several years in Leavenworth penitentiary and eventually lost everything, including control of the Order of Owls. His descent into alcoholism and death by fire was a fitting end to a tumultuous and dramatic life. After 50 years of newspaper headlines and court battles, Talbot's death made national news, but with more enemies than friends and estranged from his family, he was ultimately forgotten.

A gripping true crime story, So Much Bad in the Best of Us offers a mesmerizing account of the life of John W. Talbot, the Order of Owls, and how quickly the powerful can fall.

About the Author

Greta Fisher is a genealogist and historian born and raised in Indiana. She specializes in Central European immigration to the Midwest and enjoys placing family stories in historical context. She currently resides in South Bend, Indiana, and this is her first book.

Reviews

"Fisher has uncovered an almost unbelievable amount of corruption and perfidious misbehavior in the story of just one man. It really makes one wonder just how much must lurk in the underbelly of our current society."—Mark Torma, South Bend Attorney and former Chair of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party

"So Much Bad in the Best of Us reads like a mystery—but this is a true story about a remarkably popular criminal. You have heard of Moose and Elk clubs—but what about the Order of Owls, dedicated to "Love, Laughter and the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth," probably named for the Owl Saloon in South Bend. John Talbot was a fascinating villain: a disbarred lawyer, a corrupt politician, an abuser of women, and leader of the Order of Owls until sentenced to five years in federal prison for a sex crime. Upon release he was sued successfully by his wife and by his mistress."—Patrick J. Furlong, Professor Emeritus of History, Indiana University South Bend

"An engrossing account of a forgotten chapter in Hoosier history. Fisher's book captures the essence of the colorful life and fiery death of John W. Talbot, attorney and scoundrel."—Margaret Fosmoe, Notre Dame Magazine

"Greta Fisher cooly travels us through "So Much Bad in the Best of Us: The Salacious and Audacious Life of John W. Talbot." No one can make up the kind of ordinary citizen gullibility that ran rampant around South Bend, Indiana, starting as early as 1872 and continuing to lope along the echelons of society for the next sixty-five years and counting. . . . The enduring scheming legacy of Talbot resides within the Order of Owls. Never heard of it? Neither did I, and now I am amazed and saddened. Owls deserve a better rap."—Rita Kohn, Nuvo

9781684351879 : so-much-bad-in-the-best-of-us-fisher
Hardback
242 Pages
$60.00 USD
9781684351886 : so-much-bad-in-the-best-of-us-fisher
Paperback / softback
242 Pages
$22.00 USD

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