JEFF LAWTON

 
Full Name: Jeff Lawton
Nationality: American
Organization: SINTRAC
Occupation Agent

Creator: Hugo Paul
Time Span: 1969 - 1969
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Jeff Lawton is an agent of SINTRAC.
       The acronym SINTRAC has two different meanings, according to Lawton. To those in the know in the Intelligence Community, it stands for Security Intelligence Research Action Corps while to anyone outside that select group who might have heard it, i.e. those in "commerce and industry", it means Special Industrial, Technical, and Research Consultants.
       Whatever one is used, the agency is an organization devoted to protecting the United States and its allies against the dangers of Communist aggression, no matter where it might be found either in the States or overseas. Heading up the agency is Bettina Bundy, going by the title of "Number One", being "the woman who had indoctrinated him with the fierce singleminded purpose of SINTRAC's cause".
       Lawton, who goes by the nickname of Jeff but who is called Geoffrey by his main love interest, is a black man working in a "white man's world" (not actually put that way but implied in numerous spots). He has been an agent with SINTRAC for a good number of years and is now 34 years old.
       Lawton's cover is as an advertising executive in a large company, Delmar, Sandhurst & Corby, in Chicago. He has a devoted secretary named Ruth who caters to his every need both at the office and at her apartment, unconcerned what others might thing though she is white and he is black (in '69, that was not a common sight). Lawton got the position initially via Bundy who was close to and influenced the head of the ad agency to hire him. That was several years before when Lawton needed a cover. Now Lawton has proven to himself and his bosses that he could easily thrive in that business without her backing because he understood well what drove people to buy things.
       In fact, he has thought on more than one occassion that he would likely have been quite successful as an ad man and happy as well if it wasn't for the need for danger that often took hold of him and made any sedentary job inadequate. He is close to several of his clients and enjoys the challenge of bragging about their businesses as though they were his own.
       Still, he loves and relishes the excitement that came from the constant battle SINTRAC provided in its struggle against "Red" aggression so while he does like being an ad man, he loves being a field agent a whole lot more.
       Lawton is a huge fan of the Windy City having been born and raised there. His parents had a small house in the neighborhood of Trumbull Park before a racist decided having a black family amongst them corrupted the area and firebombed the place, killing both. That understandably left Lawton with intense feelings and shaped his attitude towards inequality.
       It also makes him really not tolerant to those who are not tolerant to others. And he has the skills to prove it.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1969

       With a warning that the book was rated "R - restricted to Adult Readers", though of course there was and is no rating system for books like the movies or now television, this book was intended as a sexploitation novel from the get-go. Understandably since it was written by Hugo Paul, a pseudonym for Paul Hugo Little who made a heck of a living drafting a huge amount of books. Most of those were pornographic.
       Naturally one generation's soft-core is another's hard-core and yet another's rather tame. Such is the case with these books written at the end of the 60's. Free love was being almost common. Interracial unions were just starting to be talked about (though hardly permitted). To write about such things, though, was not yet accepted in the mainstream. Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann had only recently become the hugely successful authors we now know them to have been and even they did not touch certain subjects.
       There were a fair number, apparently, of small printing houses churning out "dirty books" which sold throughout the country though seldom on the same racks as say a Fawcett Gold Medal, Dell, Bantam, or Popular Library paperback. As a teenager at the time working for my father's moving company, I was in quite a few truck stops around the midwest while hauling household goods from one state to another. Each of these places had a spindle rack or three crowded with books with highly suggestive titles and even more lurid covers. [As an upstanding young man, I was, of course, greatly offended by such things. I especially made sure to study each and every one of them to be certain I was offended.]
       Taurus Publications was one of these though there were houses more prevalent. Checking the Internet now for other titles put out by this company, I do not find many but a couple have names like "Yvonne and ther Governess", "Spanking '70", and "Mildred the Whip". That fits with the style of book the publisher wanted.

1 Black Agent Black Agent
Written by Hugo Paul
Copyright: 1969

Jeff Lawton on 'vacation' in Hawaii taking on a "renegade Japaense Baron" named Ito Sakata who is up to his neck in ties with Communists wanting to throw a huge wedge between the US and its allies.

2 The Politicos The Politicos
Written by Hugo Paul
Copyright: 1969

In his capacity as a rising ad exec in Chicago, Jeff Lawton finds a mission for SINTRAC involving an American Nazi who wants to start his own reich in Chicago by becomings its mayor.

MY COMMENTS

       Wow! Where do I start?
       As I mentioned in the Book section write-up, this series was obviously designed to appeal to, as the saying went back then, the pruient interests of the reader. Naughty books. Dirty books. Pornographic books. Smut. All those terms would have been used.
       Much to my sorrow, most of the words used in the books that would have caused such claims are far too common in modern language but back then, nearly a half-century ago, that was not the case. Certainly they were used but if you put them on the page, your book was going to be shunned. That does not mean it wasn't going to be bought, though. And read. And then likely discarded.

       Again as mentioned before, Hugo Paul wrote a whole lot of "dirty books". He also wrote a fair number of books purporting to be "exposes" or near-academic treatises though most people would claim they were just thinly veiled "dirty books" nevertheless.
       The two books in the Jeff Lawton series seem to fall into that category because though sex does happen with all the graphic terminology common in this type of book present. However, there are a fair amount of passages that could actually pass for intelligent dialog about the state of race relations in America and more specifically about the taboo of interracial sex. It took me by surprise, I will admit.

       Now, I would not label this is a clinical research paper nor would I recommend this book to anyone for any particular reason but I was astonished. I was also kinda bored in quite a few places because the author did go on quite a bit here and there.

       But I found myself actually liking the character. Not the writing nor the plots but the character was a good guy fighting the good fight who just happened to be black and to like a white lady. Well, several white ladies, to be honest. And they definitely liked him.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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