Buy Used
$8.33
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Edge wear and bumped corners. A few marks on cover. Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Good readable copy. Worn edges and covers and may have small creases. Item is in good condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Undue Influence: The Epic Battle for the Johnson & Johnson Fortune Hardcover – March, 1993

6 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$9.74 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The "largest, costliest, ugliest, most spectacular and most conspicuous" inheritance contest in American history here receives thorough, incisive and dramatic treatment from New York Times legal affairs correspondent Margolick. In 1971, 76-year-old J. Seward Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, married his 34-year-old Polish household servant; when he died 12 years later, his six adult offspring sued to stop the widow, Basia, from inheriting most of the half-billion-dollar estate. While Margolick ably conveys Basia's imperiousness and the children's dissolution, the book shines in its sophisticated analysis of the prominent attorneys and New York City law firms representing the various parties, and in its scathing portrait of tough, profane and peremptory Judge Marie Lambert. After a bizarre 17-week trial in 1986, the two sides settled, with Basia paying out approximately $43 million to the Johnson children. Both parties claimed victory, but Margolick's anatomy of the process shows everyone's claims to be tainted. This is a far meatier and more critical look at the case than Barbara Goldsmith's 1987 Johnson v. Johnson. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

At the age of 76, Seward Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson magnate, married Barbara Piasecka, a recent Polish immigrant 42 years his junior. When he died 12 years later, she inherited his $400 million fortune after a protracted and scandalous legal battle with her six stepchildren. This book tells the story of the contesting of that will and the eccentricities of the litigants, the lawyers, and the judge. Margolick's strength is also his weakness; even the most legal-minded reader may become impatient with the wealth of detail in his 600-page account. Because no sources whatsoever are provided, the reader is left still more frustrated. For only the most complete popular legal collections.
- Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (March 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688064256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688064259
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Margolick is a long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He has held similar posts at Newsweek and Portfolio. For fifteen years he was a legal affairs correspondent for the New York Times, for which, among many other assignments, he covered the trial of O.J. Simpson. "Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns" originated in a conversation he had more than forty years ago while a student at Loomis, a prep school in Connecticut, and involved extensive conversations with Burns's former students as well as a review of his remarkable wartime correspondence.
Margolick's prior books include "Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock," a study of the iconic photograph taken outside Little Rock Central High School during the desegregation crisis of 1957 (Yale University Press); "Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink" (Knopf); and "Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song." (Harper Collins). In addition, for Kindle Singles he has written "A Predator Priest." He is now working on a study of Sid Caesar and the seminal television comedy program "Your Show of Shows" for Nextbook/Schocken.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dana Marks on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book will wholly satisfy lawyers (& everyone else) interested in a well-informed, insightful and fascinating inside look at the biggest will contest in US history. Its cinematic scope and dramatically drawn characters make it an addictive page-turner you will have difficulty putting down. While the story itself is at times a hilarious soap opera, it is always superbly written and thus a joy to read. I can't recommend it enough!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sugarplum on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Margolick quickly sucks you into the story and uses such detail that you can picture the people, places, and events. The story reads like a true soap opera with events so absurd you have to remind yourself that the book is non-fiction. I highly reccommend this book to anyone wants to be shocked at human behavior and what people will do for money.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brillian research and fine writing. I wouldnt know where to begin, this is a book filled with a wealth of details about an enormous and enormously rich family. In Mr. Margolick's skilled hands the reader learns the intimate and honestly ludicrous details of how people live with no brakes on their behavior and it aint pretty!

Extremely readable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again