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Gadfly: The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving-White House Watchdog Hardcover – May 3, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A descendant of reverends, bishops, actors, authors, poets and reporters, Kathleen Kinsolving is the daughter of veteran White House correspondent, Les Kinsolving. She co-wrote the movie treatment for film about the Jonestown cult that her dad's reporting exposed, and penned his biography, Gadfly: The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving White House Watchdog, in 2010. A wife and mother in Reston, Virginia, she teaches English and journalism at Centreville High School in Clifton, Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WND Books; 1 edition (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935071807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935071808
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,373,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Denny on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Kathleen Kinsolving, the daughter of radio talk-show host, columnist, reporter and Episcopal priest, Les Kinsolving, has written a heartfelt biography and testimonial to the life and times of her father.

Les Kinsolving has been a colorful and outspoken critic, commentator, reporter and talk-show host for more than fifty years. The title "Gadfly" is well-chosen and appropriate for a biography of Les, since that has been his hallmark as a reporter and radio talk-show host as well as in his first career as a parish priest.

If you want to learn why Les is the way he is, this narrative goes part of the way in explaining why. In his formative years, he was a moderate and progressive on social issues, civil rights in particular. His lifetime ideological drift has been to the right, but he is not a rightwinger such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert, etc. Nor is he foul-mouthed or mean-spirited.

"Gadfly" could have stood sharper editing. The narrative style is somewhat rambling and reminiscently "Faulknerian" in its sweep.

Over his career, Les Kinsolving was able to break several important stories, the most important of which was the Reverend Jim Jones and the Peoples' Temple, which ended in the mass suicide at Jonestown in the South American country of Guyana.

As a White House correspondent to several administrations, Kinsolving mostly distinguished himself as a pest to whomever was the Press Secretary in those administrations, both Democratic and Republican. A gadfly, many of his questions were minor and frankly irrelevant but on occasion, he captured the moment with a zinger. In mid-life, Kinsolving found his calling in hosting talk-show radio for stations in Philadelphia, New York and ultimately Baltimore, where his voice has been heard for close to 30 years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Horsman, Ph.D.,M.Div., author of COSMOPOLITAN CLUB DOSSIERThe Cosmopolitan Club Dossier
Les Kinsolving has stood bravely against stupidity in high places, both religious and political for years-- he has recieved little recognition for it. I remained for his daughter Kathleen to pen a loving tribute to her gadfly father, combiing the love of a daughter with the acumen and honest reporting of a biographer with both sharp observation and great access to primary materials. The account of the exposure of Jim Jones in the face of political protection and cover by religious figures was particularly deftly done. But as one who has written of the left-wing penetration of the church in which Les and many generations of his family as well were ordained, I can attest to the recording in this excellent biography of many facts with which even I was not famlar before reading Kathleen's book.
A loving peon to a gadfly who,like Socrates,was and indeed still continues always making making the important people and those who think themselves impotant, very uncomfortable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have listened to Les on the radio since 1975 and also served proudly as his producer for a few years. I thought I knew this ballsy gentleman-character pretty well until I had the pleasure to read Gadfly. Kathleen presents a full and interesting accounting of the life of this very bold, loving and often outrageous gift from God, named Lester Kinsolving. What an honor to experience the tribute Kathleen has payed her Dad. And it was priced as if Les were buying it for himself...more than reasonable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got a good deal from this seller. Book came in excellent condition and was quickly shipped.
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Format: Hardcover
Kinsolving is a right wing bigot known far and wide as a disgrace to radio in Baltimore. The far right radio station he broadcasts on isn't even in the top 10 of Baltimore radio stations. Allan Prell, a more famous radio personality than Kinsolving, once famously called him to tell him how he did not serve Baltimore well. That is putting it mildly. Increasingly known as a senile gasbag, he does inspire laughter in any listener with an IQ above the level of nitwit. The perfect book to give those you hate, it's sure to kill them with boredom. Pure trash.
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