Robert Traver

The Dastardly Past:  Robert Traver.

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June 29 marks the birth–1903–of attorney John D. Voelker, pen name Robert Traver.  Traver’s best-known work is Anatomy of a Murder, which producer/director Otto Preminger promptly adapted for the screen (starring a scruffy James Stewart and sultry Lee Remick).  The book is as riveting as the movie.  Noir author James M. Cain, reviewing it for the New York Times in 1958 condemned the writing as naive, the subject as stale, and the organization as “jackleg” (???).  “Nevertheless, however, and yet,” Cain continued, “it held me as few books have.  I couldn’t put it down.”   The public agreed.  Anatomy of a Murder, both book and movie, have remained classics for nearly 60 years.

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