From acclaimed journalist Walter Shapiro, the true life story of how his great-uncle—a Jewish vaudeville impresario and exuberant con man—managed to cheat Hitler’s agents in the run-up to WWII. All his life, journalist Walter Shapiro assumed that the outlandish stories about his great-uncle Freeman were exaggerated family lore; some cockamamie Jewish revenge fantasies dreamt up to entertain the kids and venerate their larger-than-life relative. Only when he started researching Freeman Bernstein’s life did he realize that his family was actually holding back—the man had enough stories, vocations, and IOUs to fill a dozen lifetimes. Freeman was many people: a vaudeville manager, boxing promoter, stock swindler, card shark and self-proclaimed “Jade King of China.” But his greatest title, perhaps the only man who can claim such infamy, was as The Man Who Hustled Hitler. A cross between The Night They Raided Minsky’s and Guys and Dolls, Freeman Bernstein’s life was itself an old New York sideshow extravaganza, one that Shapiro expertly stages in Hustling Hitler. From a ragtag childhood in Troy, New York, Shapiro follows his great-uncle’s ever-crooked trajectory through show business, from his early schemes on the burlesque circuit to marrying his star performer, May Ward, and producing silent films—released only in Philadelphia. Of course, all of Freeman’s cons and schemes were simply a prelude to February 18, 1937, the day he was arrested by the LAPD outside of Mae West’s apartment in Hollywood. The charge? Grand larceny—for cheating Adolf Hitler and the Nazi government. In the capstone of his slippery career, Freeman had promised to ship thirty-five tons of embargoed Canadian nickel to the Führer; when the cargo arrived, the Germans found only huge, useless quantities of scrap metal and tin. It was a blow to their economy and war preparations—and Hitler did not take the bait-and-switch lightly. Told with cinematic verve and hilarious perspective, Hustling Hitler is Shapiro’s incredible investigation into the man behind the myth. By reconstructing his great-uncle’s remarkable career, Shapiro has transformed Freeman Bernstein from a barely there footnote in history to the larger-than-life, eternal hustler who forever changed it. From the Hardcover edition.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH IN BIOGRAPHIES & MEMOIRS A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion. Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the co-operation of Bunny Mellon's family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.
Describes how we spend most of our lives striving to grab what God is patiently waiting to give us.
At once a chess master, a linguist, an athlete and an innocent in love, Arnold passes through the racial tensions of Mansfield, Texas (home of the author of Black Like Me) in the 1950s, the anti-war movement at Harvard, and both the Upper East Side and the Bowery, meeting Noam Chomsky, Al Gore, and Leonard Bernstein in the process, and finally learning the meaning of meaning.
August Kubizek met Adolf Hitler in 1904 while they were both competing for standing room at the opera. Their mutual passion for music created a strong bond, and over the next four years they became close friends. Kubizek describes a reticent young man, painfully shy, yet capable of bursting into hysterical fits of anger if anyone disagreed with him. The two boys would often talk for hours on end; Hitler found Kubizek to be a very good listener, a worthy confidant to his hopes and dreams. In 1908 Kubizek moved to Vienna and shared a room with Hitler at 29 Stumpergasse. During this time, Hitler tried to get into art school, but he was unsuccessful. With his money fast running out, he found himself sinking to the lower depths of the city: an unkind world of isolation and constant unappeasable hunger. Hitler moved out of the flat in November, without leaving a forwarding address; Kubizek did not meet his friend again until 1938. The Young Hitler I Knew tells the story of an extraordinary friendship, and gives fascinating insight into Hitlers character during these formative years. This is the first edition to be published in English since 1955 and it corrects many changes made for reasons of political correctness. It also includes important sections which were excised from the original English translation.
Drawing on interviews with eyewitnesses, former Nazis, Third Reich homosexuals, and death camp survivors, Rector reconstructs the Reich's plans for the total annihilation of homosexuals
This book is the most up-to-date, comprehensive analysis of Hitler written by a psychologist. Going beyond the reliance on a Freudian interpretation of Hitler's personality, Schwaab employs his knowledge of abnormal psychology to penetrate the paranoid world of Hitler and to demonstrate the depth of his mental disturbance. The analysis is framed by a poignant personal reflection on Schwaab's experiences (and those of his father, who was first a follower of Hitler and later one of those who attempted to assassinate him) growing up in Nazi Germany and an afterword in which the meaning of Nazism is placed in the context of contemporary developments in a reunited Germany.