The Tales of Little Pavel

Fictional stories about a real American crisis… by Illinois Review columnist John F. Di Leo

Early in his career with Illinois Review, John F. Di Leo set out to educate the public about the problem of vote fraud. Most Americans assume it’s a relatively narrow problem – limited to big cities with powerful, corrupt political machines.

In fact, there are dozens of kinds of vote fraud, likely totaling many millions of fabricated and stolen votes every year, when added together. Unfortunately, it’s a terribly dull subject… and writing dozens of columns explaining each one, in the normal, non-fiction format, would risk putting readers to sleep… and that’s no way to spread the word about a constitutional crisis.

So John decided to use fiction as a vehicle. The stories of Little Pavel concern an imaginary teenaged campaign volunteer who helps out at the local party machine’s ward headquarters in some big city… and at the feet of “The Boss” and his deputy committeeman, “Pockets,” young Pavel learns about a different kind of vote fraud in every single chapter.

One week, we learn how military votes are often rendered uncountable… another week, we learn how politicians get nursing home staff to harvest votes from comatose or senile patients. One week, we learn about immigrant groups voting illegally without being citizens; the next week, we see politicians buying votes for booze and box lunches at a homeless shelter.

And as awful as the reality of these methods’ effect on our country is, the fictional approach makes the lessons manageable with colorful characters and humorous dialogue.

The full collection of Illinois Review columns comprising the stories of Little Pavel were published in a single volume in 2020, and are available as either paperback or eBook, exclusively on Amazon, here:

The Tales of Little Pavel, by John F. Di Leo, Amazon/Kindle Publishing