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Convictions: A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves [Kindle Edition]

John Kroger
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
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Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

Convictions is a spellbinding story from the front lines of the fight against crime. Most Americans know little about the work of assistant United States attorneys, the federal prosecutors who possess sweeping authority to investigate and prosecute the nation’s most dangerous criminals. John Kroger pursued high-profile cases against Mafia killers, drug kingpins, and Enron executives. Starting from his time as a green recruit and ending at the peak of his career, he steers us through the complexities of life as a prosecutor, where the battle in the courtroom is only the culmination of long and intricate investigative work. He reveals how to flip a perp, how to conduct a cross, how to work an informant, how to placate a hostile judge. Kroger relates it all with a novelist’s eye for detail and a powerful sense of the ethical conflicts he faces. Often dissatisfied with the system, he explains why our law enforcement policies frequently fail in critical areas like drug enforcement and white-collar crime. He proposes new ways in which we can fight crime more effectively, empowering citizens to pressure their lawmakers to adopt more productive policies. This is an unflinching portrait of a crucial but little-understood part of our justice system, and Kroger is an eloquent guide.

Editorial Reviews


“John Kroger’s Convictions is the best book about being a federal prosecutor since Jeffrey Toobin’s Opening Arguments. It is an engrossing look at how some of the most famous criminal cases of our era were built and won, and probably the frankest discussion ever of the extraordinary ethical dilemmas that go with wielding the government’s crushing power over lives.”  –Scott Turow, author of Limitations

Convictions is many things at once, all brilliantly: a mob story, a drug kingpin story, a white-collar corruption story. But at its heart and most profoundly it is the coming-of-age story of a young man who has everything it takes to be great at his job, only to discover this isn't enough to do good in the world. Kroger wins here as he did in the courtroom—with simplicity and candor, passion and integrity, and a ferocious, persuasive intelligence.” –Susan Choi, author of American Woman
“As a former assistant district attorney, I can identify with John Kroger’s Convictions.  It is straightforward and truthful, and it shows life as it really is in the “pit.”  This searching memoir is suspenseful and enlightening reading for lay people and members of the legal profession alike.” –Joe Jamail, author of Lawyer: My Trials and Jubilations    

"Convictions is the extraordinarily intimate account of a prosecutor's coming of age. John Kroger takes readers by the hand and invites us to boldly face, along with him, the thriving parallel dystopia of the world's most dangerous criminals. Replete with fascinating detail that illuminated for me a maze of law enforcement issues that I'd never grasped before, this book is essential reading for an informed citizenry." —Terri Jentz, author of Stran...

About the Author

John Kroger is the Attorney General of Oregon. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, he previously served as a United States Marine, federal prosecutor, and law professor.

Product Details

  • File Size: 732 KB
  • Print Length: 488 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374531773
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SPL0XY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JOHN KROGER FOR THE UNITED STATES March 20, 2010
by Hansen Alexander

It was my first run in with the hot tempered Governor of Arkansas in 1992. There were smudges on the policy papers I was responsible for photocopying and he had just noticed them when visiting the Little Rock headquarters. Policy was still operated in the Washington Campaign Headquarters on this winter morning, the writing mostly done by two Yale grads, Bruce Reed and John Kroger.

The Governor was furious and the building was shaking. The only calm presence was Kroger, a former Marine. Bill Clinton's overworked campaign plane was burning through most of our cash and we did not have the funds to replace our photocopy machine. "Go downstairs," Kroger calmly told me, "and ask one of the law firms if you can borrow their copy machines to do the policy papers." I did so, going from floor to floor until a cooperative young female attorney copied the papers for me--at her personal expense.

John Kroger, soon to be moved to Little Rock, was not only the calmest person in the Washington office but was also one of the nicest. He was quiet but respectful of everybody. Like George Stephanapoulos, he was a good guy in the office who proved too pleasant to last long in the back stabbing world of presidential politics. Kroger left Washington in 1993 to go to law school after only a few months of exile at the Treasury Department, where he had been sent after speaking his mind during the transition period.

Kroger became one of the best federal prosecutors of the late 1990s and early 21rst century, helping to send hard to convict godfathers, drug dealers, and Enron executives to prison. Convictions is his story. It is the best book about fighting crime since James B.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable May 21, 2008
"Unputdownable" is an adjective normally used to describe potboilers, not non-fiction books written by attorneys about their cases. Yet once you start reading Convictions, by John Kroger, it's impossible to put it down. With intelligence, insight, candor and a healthy dose of self-criticism, the former assistant US Attorney tells stories of chasing mobsters, fighting (and losing) the "war on drugs," and the arduous task of representing the US government in court. Kroger is the rare thing: an outstanding lawyer who writes like a novelist and thinks like a philosopher. This is a remarkable book; don't miss the chance to read it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get to Know Oregon's New A.G. February 24, 2009
I checked this book out of the library because I wanted to know more about Oregon's new Attorney General. Kroger put together a unique coalition of environmentalists, district attorneys and police chiefs to win election in his first campaign.

In the Democratic primary he ran against an established corporate attorney and state legislator with a good environmental voting record. He convinced a significant number of environmentalists whe were fed up with Oregon's failure to enforce environmental laws that he would devote some serious effort to retoring Oregon's long-lost reputation for environmental protection.

In the general election, the Republican party didn't bother to run a candidate against Kroger. Kroger's reputation as a strong and aggressive prosecuter had won endorsements of the vast majority of district attorneys, sheriffs, and police chiefs in the state.

A significant part of Kroger's campaign rhetoric focused on drug treatment to reduce the states child abuse and other crime. Methamphetamine has hit Oregon hard.

Kroger's book gives some insight into what has made him who he is. Clearly he is dedicated and his work habits as an Assistant U.S. Attorney left little time for a personal life. Kroger is an ex-marine raised in Texas who graduated with an ivy league degree in philosophy, an unusual combination.

I have been a great fan of the TV show Law and Order over the years, finding the most interesting stories those where moral tradeoffs are complicated. Krogers book is a fascinating self-examination of internal moral conflicts inherent in being a prosecutor. The book held my interest from cover-to-cover and leaves me eager to read more of his writing in the future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves You Wanting More of a Good Thing August 16, 2008
Simply put, the stories that Kroger tells and the way in which he tells them just make this book extremely interesting and engrossing. Being that I would like to be an attorney one day (possibly an ADA), and also got my undergraduate degree in Philosophy like the author--there was that immediate relation (besides the fact that Kroger is far more intelligent) that I found in the book.
This is a phenomenal read and really just made me wish that there was a part 2 of this book so I can read more of his exciting stories as an AUSA. Even if you have the slightest interest in legal books, this is will suck you in immediately. Not what you would expect from the "legal" genre. Pick it up, give it a read. Worth the price and you wont be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic September 7, 2008
This book sucked me in from the very beginning, combining elements of everything I'm interested in: politics, government, law, law enforcement, the mafia, etc. Kroger's style of writing is clear and entertaining, never boring, and filled with many thought provoking passages and legal conundrums. Even though I stumbled upon this book randomly at the bookstore, it was money well spent and I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Convictions by John Kroger
Picked up this book thinking it would be very dense, but I actually found it to be a very easy read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Marycathry
5.0 out of 5 stars Real and Enthralling
To call this book "enthralling" is an understatement. I purchased it in the airport in Baltimore, and by the time I landed in Los Angeles (including layovers), I was finished. Read more
Published on November 1, 2012 by LChestnut
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but self-serving
I picked this up because I was interested in finding out about what it's like to work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and perhaps wasn't in the right mindset to read a memoir. Read more
Published on October 15, 2012 by Anna D.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Philosophy of Law
Not surprisingly, books on the practice and theory of America's legal system frequently center on the nitty-gritty of what's expected from the practitioners of law and also on how... Read more
Published on June 3, 2012 by JOHN A. BROUSSARD
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Highly recommended. This book was detailed and informative, yet entertaining and engrossing.
I lost some sleep because I stayed up late each night reading, but it was worth... Read more
Published on October 20, 2011 by JRM
5.0 out of 5 stars John Kroger: A Man of Courage and Integrity
"CONVICTIONS: A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves"... a long title, yet it doesn't begin to appropriately characterize this young man's... Read more
Published on July 28, 2011 by Toby Martin II (aka R. Howe)
5.0 out of 5 stars Business and Personal Ethics
As a retired corporate accountant I can tell you honestly, the section on Enron in this book should be required study for high school and college students. Read more
Published on December 12, 2010 by Long Time Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Coming from a Finance background I've had little exposure to the world of law enforcement. This book sparked my interest in law and the powerful role District Attorneys hold in our... Read more
Published on November 14, 2010 by -
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Time
I personally had a difficult time getting through this book. Probably an eye opener in some respects but if I had to purchase it again I wouldn't
Published on April 13, 2010 by LDM
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prosecutor's Coming of Age
What makes "Convictions" so absorbing isn't Kroger's stories on mafia or drug cartel prosecutions, but it's his honesty, his lack of inhibition and his self awareness in which the... Read more
Published on September 8, 2009 by David M. Cook
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