Steven Travers is an historian, guest lecturer at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and author of 20 books and screenplays. He's a conservative author whose own publicity posits grimly that the "old way" of American patriotism and macho values have been destroyed and replaced with the "world now dominated by Barack Obama."
One of Travers' biggest heroes is that paragon of John Birch-era Orange County, John Wayne. And it is the Duke himself who is the protagonist of Travers' new book The Duke, The Longhorns and Chairman Mao, which you can find in bookstores, or at least on Amazon, on April 7. The book makes some truly remarkable claims about Wayne, who Travers argues was an anti-communist icon of such stature that two of the worst communist dictators of the 20th Century tried to have him assassinated.
Stalin, Travers claims, tried to whack Wayne twice, specifically because Wayne was "exposing communist infiltration of Hollywood," according to a press release on the book. But the attempts by these unidentified "Homegrown Hollywood Communists" were foiled and "Wayne and the FBI captured [the] Russian hitmen and turned them into assets of U.S. Intelligence" who were sent back to spy on the Soviet Union.
*"Communist mass murderer Mao Tse-tung sent a Chinese assassin to Vietnam, where he barely missed Wayne at a Marine base camp, only to be captured and questioned by the Duke himself"
*"Wayne practically slugged Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a 1958 scene that may well have been the model for George C. Scott's confrontation with the Russian general in "Patton"
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*"Wayne's incendiary 1966 speech to the USC football team at Austin, Texas was possibly relayed by USC filmmaker John Milius to his friend Francis Ford Coppola, then writing "Patton," and turned into Scott's iconic opening speech"
The Weekly eagerly anticipates reading this book so we can provide further information regarding these groundbreaking historical revelations. Regarding Wayne's presence in Vietnam during the war, the notion that a Chinese assassin tried to kill him there would certainly be a shocker. The most interesting anecdote about Wayne in 'Nam that we could find involves the time the Duke screened his film Fort Apache in front of an audience of Green Berets and Montagnards in Pleiku. As Wayne later recounted, every time the Indians attacked the Cavalry, the Montagnards cheered.