September 14, 1981 12:00 PM

by Roy M. Cohn

Cohn first made his mark counseling Sen. Joe McCarthy. His clients since have included the late Mafia boss Carmine Galante, Bianca Jagger and Studio 54. Barbara Walters and other media familiars attend his frequent bashes. Cohn is, obviously, a man of surprises. He even dedicates this book to “my archrival in the Army-McCarthy hearings, Joseph N. Welch.” (Welch died in 1960.) Cohn’s purpose in writing, he says, is “to help you get even when you’ve been unfairly disadvantaged.” Often maligned for his Communist baiting, he has apparently felt poorly treated himself. He illustrates his advice with humorless tales about man’s mistreatment of his fellowman. He comments on privacy, palimony, swindles, ruined vacations and libel. (He writes that “there are thousands of pages of false and defamatory statements about me in print. Yet I have sued for libel only twice.” He dropped one case and the court dismissed the other.) As a “how-to,” this $13.95 worth of legal tips won’t get you very far. The book is, however, the most entertaining case study in paranoia and egomania since Billy Martin’s Number 1. (Simon and Schuster, $13.95)

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