Wednesday, August 10, 2016

John Lennon vs. the U.S.A. - A book review

The book John Lennon vs. the U.S.A. by Leon Wildes is my favorite Beatles book of 2016 (so far--and not including my own book).     It is a must read for anyone who is like me and loves reading about John Lennon's life.



Leon Wildes was the immigration attorney that took on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's deportation case in 1972.   When he met John and Yoko for the first time in their Bank Street Apartment, he honestly had no idea who they were and he surely had no clue what a messy and complicated ordeal it would be to keep John Lennon in the United States.


Wildes soon became familiar with John and Yoko and began to understand the main reason they desperately wanted to stay in the United States was because Yoko was separated from her daughter, Kyoko, and had no idea where her ex-husband had taken her.    Wildes thought he had a pretty solid case to keep the couple in the United States.  However, he wasn't aware that the FBI was tracking everything not only John and Yoko were doing, but also tapping his phones as well.    It was a VERY difficult road for Wildes and the Lennons to get to stay in the United States and a battle that was very difficult to win.    Wildes had lawsuits and appeals and all sorts of red tape to go through.

Leon Wildes with John and Yoko during their deportation case in 1972 -- it was his idea that they dress alike to show that they were one unit and not two individuals. 


Of course many fans (and I bet many of you out there) were out  passing around petitions and getting signatures at Beatles conventions and through fan magazines to keep John in the United States.  And it was cool to see that was actually shown in court (it didn't really count for much).     In the end of it all, Leon Wildes, being the genius that he is, found a little used law at the time that fit for John Lennon and by working through this law for many, many years he was able to not only allow for John to stay in America, but for him to actually get his green card.    Leon called up John on October 8, 1975 to give him the amazing news and John informed him that he was on his way to the hospital where Yoko was to give birth to their only child, Sean on John's birthday.    What an incredible gift!



The book wasn't easy to read because it was full of legal information; however, I was really impressed how Leon Wildes uses "laymen's wording" in helping me, someone without a law background, to understand exactly what he was talking about.     Overall this is an excellent book and I am grateful to Leon Wildes for helping John achieve his dream and for writing this book.   It is going to be helpful for Lennon fans and legal students for many years to come.


You can order the book on Amazon and the Fest

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