Conrad Black's book praised as he awaits sentencing

Conrad Black has a few more days to ponder his fate, to reread his legal briefs - and the early reviews of his book about Richard Nixon.

It's a tome of a book which runs to 1,152 pages – a real doorstopper, as doorstopper, as the New York Sun put it.

The first reviews are laudatory. The Sun headline reads: "Nixon Summed Up Magnificently."

The book, 'Richard M Nixon, A Life in Full" - suggests that Nixon for decades was a reliable exemplar of the mass of Americans who would come to be known as "The Silent Majority".

"He got where he did", in Black's view, by "climbing, falling, climbing again and never ceasing to struggle.

"He was laborious but effective, eloquent but not hypnotizing, cynical but compassionate and patriotic"

Publishers' Weekly calls the book superb.

All of which presumably will make the former Hollinger International tycoon feel better as he waits to appear again in a Chicago court on 10 December to be sentenced after being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice.

The sentencing was postponed to give his lawyer time to file additional papers that might, it was hoped, mitigate the offences.

Meanwhile, in California, art dealer Michael Kohn is pondering what to do with the print of Andy Warhol's portrait of Black which he bought at a Christie's auction earlier this month for $240,000. It was more than anticipated.

Kohn admits he didn't know the identity of the person in the portrait when he started bidding.. He just liked it , he said. 'It was striking"

Warhol silver silkscreen was one of four that were printed back in 1980 when Black was just starting to build his newspaper empire.

The court ordered the former owner of the Daily Telegraph to give up two of the prints to settle a dispute with the creditors of his former holding company, Ravelston, which will use the proceeds to pay off some of Lord Black's debts.

None of the proceeds will go to Black.

The second print will be offered at auction in London in February.

Black gets to keep one of the portraits but if he wants to continue ownership he will have to pay Ravelston the average price of the two put up for sale.

The fourth portrait was donated several years ago to the Vancouver Art Gallery The California art dealer said he only became aware of the portrait subject's notoriety when reporters chased him after the auction. He said he might ultimately re-sell the portrait but for now it will hang in his gallery in Beverly Hills.

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