Lawrence M. Glazer has served as an assistant Michigan Attorney
General, as chief legal adviser to Michigan governor James
Blanchard, and as a State Circuit Judge.
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Wounded Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Michigan Governor John Swainson
WINNER: Michigan Notable Book Award 2011
WINNER: IPPY Gold Medal-Biography 2011
Few people today remember John Swainson. As a teenage soldier he
lost both legs in a WWII landmine explosion. Back in the United
States, following a meteoric political rise in the Michigan State
Senate, Swainson was elected as Michigan’s youngest governor since
Stevens T. Mason.
In 1970 Swainson was elected to the
Michigan Supreme Court, becoming one of the few public officials to
have served in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of
state government. Then, in 1975, he was indicted on federal charges
of bribery and perjury, and convicted of lying to a federal grand
jury. Forced to leave the state Supreme Court and disbarred from
practicing law, he became a pariah, sinking into depression and
alcoholism. He virtually disappeared from public view.
Lawrence Glazer re-examines the FBI's investigation of
Swainson and delves into his 1975 trial in detail. He reveals new
information from eyewitnesses who never testified and, in a poignant
coda, relates the little-known story of Swainson’s rehabilitation
and return to public life as a historian.
"Glazer, a former circuit
judge and assistant attorney
general, interviewed new
witnesses who said Swainson
scoured through his
appointment calendars and
other documents after his
initial grand jury
appearance and before he
returned to the grand jury
to correct his testimony two
days later. The author
points to Swainson's concern
about the accuracy of his
testimony as evidence he
never intentionally lied and
was not guilty of perjury."
- The Detroit News
"In the book, Glazer follows Swainson from his humble upbringing through his World War II combat experiences — including the loss of his legs in a land mine explosion on a French battlefield — to what can only be called his meteoric rise in politics. Glazer has opened a window into a fascinating but seemingly flawed politician...."- The Lansing City Pulse, November 10, 2010