I am writing an historical fiction novel. Much of the book covers prominent personalities in government and banking - figures such Clinton, Bush, Greenspan, etc. Note that they are still alive. Objectively, I can point to mistakes and/or corrupt behavior by these people - obviously no chance of libel since every public action that I cite will be the truth. But my question goes to private conversations that I invent that these people have - amongst each other or individually with other people. These are conversations that I want in my book - the conversations are a figment of my imagination but are congruent their public behavior. In some of these conversations that I write, I want them to use dialog that shows their implicit corruption - in other words, it would show them in a bad light. Please know that my actual objective is to show the larger culture of money and power - it just so happens that these people are good examples of this culture. I am aware that it is not libel if it is the truth. I am also aware that it would not be ruled libel (in a court of law) unless the plaintiff (Bush, for example) demonstrates that my presentation of him is both false and that it was done with malice. My question is this: if I imagine, write, and publish dialog within my novel that depicts these people as corrupt, am I opening myself up for a libel suit? What will a prospective publisher do when faced with a manuscript such as this? Thanks in advance for whatever thoughts or information you may have . . .