Posted by Carole Stuart on May 08, 2013
Today’s (5/8/13) New York Times has three pieces about sexual abuse in the military: The lead story on the front page, “Sexual Assaults In Military Raise Alarm in Capital,” an editorial, “The Military’s Sexual Assault Crisis,” and a column by Maureen Dowd, “America’s Military Injustice.”
In 2007 we published a book by Dr. Mic Hunter, “HONOR BETRAYED, SEXUAL ABUSE IN AMERICA’S MILITARY.” The response was, to put it mildly, underwhelming. Dr. Hunter had counseled veterans, both men and women, who described their experiences of being sexually assaulted while serving.
The subject was a perfect fit for Barricade: important and controversial.
We anticipated headlines in print, interviews on radio and television.
The reality was – complete silence. Was it because the topic was too hot?
The author sent books to members of Congress. They not only didn’t take any action to assist veterans, they never even acknowledged receiving the book and were silent about it.
Dr. Hunter is part of a group of mostly military people interviewed for a documentary film to be released soon. The title is “Women of War: The Shocking Truth about America’s Military Sexual Trauma.” Maybe the time is right and the message will get out and something will be done to assist the veterans whose abuse has been ignored far too long.
I’m not sure what has changed in thirteen years but finally the men and women who were and still are being abused are at last telling their stories and they are being heard. The book is, unfortunately, as relevant today as when we first published it. “Honor Betrayed, Sexual Abuse in America’s Military.
Until next time….
Posted by Carole Stuart on March 25, 2013
With Passover approaching I was thinking about the remarkable Kellermans and how much coincidence affects the direction of our lives.
Some years ago a young man, very self-confident, came to our office that was then on Fifth Avenue and 20th Street in Manhattan. He wanted a job. There was no job. But he was insistent that he could be an important part of the still young Barricade Books. His name was Sam Kellerman.
Sam was quite a fellow. With all of his youthful confidence he talked himself into a job. And Lyle took him under his wing. Sam was given the sort of tasks that interns and new hires are given – whatever needed to be done, he did. He was eager and very smart. He also did copyediting on various books.
Sam told us about his family. He was one of four sons of Henry and Linda and grew up on Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village. The four brothers, Sam, Max, Harry and Jack were all quite remarkable. All talented, and very close.
While not particularly observant Jews, they celebrated Jewish holidays Like Chanukah and Passover, and every summer they all went to Yiddish camp where they learned the language.
Henry is fluent in Yiddish and appeared in Yiddish theater as a young man. His performance archive is housed at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA, as well as at YIVO in New York City and will be available at DOROT, the Yiddish/Jewish division of the New York Public Library.
As Passover was approaching, Sam invited us to their family Seder. Knowing that Lyle was an atheist, Sam nevertheless was persistent. “This is not a regular Seder. It is a Seder with interesting people who will be sharing their stories. There will be more stimulating stories than ritual. Promise.”
Sam described the Seder as secular, not religious. The focus would be on universal themes derived from the Passover story. He promised this would be fast, with good conversation and good food.
We arrived and the table was set for the Passover meal. On each plate was a Haggadah. I learned later that it was the personal Haggadah written by Henry Kellerman.
I picked one up and flipped through the pages. A lot of pages. “Hmmm” I thought, “this is going to be a long night.”
And it was. And it was very special. The guests around the table were, as promised, fascinating people and the conversation was lively.
The night of that Seder we met Henry Kellerman, a psychoanalyst, the head of the family and his wife Linda, a talented artist.
We also met the other Kellerman sons: Max, Jack, and Harry. They are all accomplished in their fields of endeavor. Max has a popular radio show In Los Angeles, “Max and Marcellus” on ESPN radio covering sports and everything else. Harry is a screenwriter, actor, director whose first script will soon be produced and he’ll be directing it. Jack has his own company and writes, edits and produces videos for TV streaming and other venues and is straddling his business with the movie industry. They all live in and around Los Angeles.
Dear Sam, who set in motion this scenario, died tragically, as a young man.
The world of publishing is a small world but has a certain allure. Once you say you are a publisher, everyone has a book they are writing.
And so it was that Sam’s father, Henry, was not only a respected psychoanalyst, he was a writer of professional books. Henry also had a talent for popular writing and now you know where this is going.
We became friends and have been publishing some of Henry’s books – two are non-fiction: “Hollywood Movies On the Couch: A Psychoanalyst Examines 15 Famous Films” and “Greedy, Cowardly and Weak, Hollywood’s Jewish Stereotypes.” The most recent is a novel, a psychological thriller, “The Making of Ghosts” with a psychologist as the main character.
So, here’s my advice: If you receive an invitation to a Seder…at the home of a new friend…go. You never know who you’ll meet or what will happen.
Posted by Carole Stuart on February 03, 2013
When I heard the news of Ed Koch’s being hospitalized again last week, I looked out the window of my apartment in Ft. Lee at New York Presbyterian Hospital. I silently thought, “that’s probably the last time.”
And so on February 1st, the news of Edward I. Koch’s death appeared on Page One of the New York Times, and went on at great length about his career. Articles suggested Koch was both admired and detested, but all agreed he was one of the more colorful people in New York politics.
I knew him as one of our authors. Barricade published his GIULIANI: NASTY MAN in 1991. It is a collection of articles Koch wrote for the New York Post and New York Daily News chronicling Giuliani’s two terms in office. Koch thought Giuliani was a good administrator but believed he had a tyrannical streak, a nastiness, that was an impediment to effective governing.
We came to know Koch by way of Allen G. Schwartz, who was Lyle’s partner when Barricade Books started. Within a few years he was appointed a federal court judge and gave up his association with Barricade.
Allen was Koch’s law partner when they were both new attorneys. They shared one desk, sitting opposite each other in a very modest office. As Koch’s political career grew he promised Allen that one day Koch would be mayor of New York and Allen’s son, David, would have his bar mitzvah party in Gracie Mansion. He kept that promise.
Allen remained one of Koch’s closest friends and after the first mayoral win, Koch called him the morning after his inauguration and asked Allen, “What job do you want?” Allen took only a moment to respond, ”Corporation Counsel,” and Koch granted him his wish. They remained great friends until Allen’s death in 2003.
Koch, who was remembered by many for his standby remark, “How’m I doing?” was a great promoter of himself and his books. We had a book signing for GIULIANI: NASTY MAN at Bookends, a terrific independent bookstore in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he sold more than 160 copies. People were lined up outside the store waiting to get in to buy a book and listen to his stories.
I will always remember him as a good guy.
A recent book, “GOING CLEAR: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright exposing the Church of Scientology just appeared on the New York Times best seller list high up on the non-fiction list. Good job!
Many of the readers of this blog will not be surprised that Barricade had its own expose of Scientology written by Bent Corydon and published in 1996.
Corydon had left Scientology and wrote about the Church as a number of other ex-Scientologists had done. The run-up to publication was quite an adventure, much of it unpleasant. I went with Lyle to the celebrity headquarters of Scientology in Hollywood where they put on a great show trying to convince him not to publish the book. If you knew Lyle, you would know it only made him more eager to publish.
In the months before publishing, Scientologists were turning up in the parking lot of our offices in Secaucus, N.J. and also in front of our apartment building in Fort Lee in an attempt to discourage bringing the book out.
They are determined “good soldiers” who work for their Church. They use threats and intimidation against those who write about them in any negative way. What they didn’t realize was that Lyle was fearless. And, of course, Barricade published the book.
There’s an interesting aspect to the story. When Lyle came out of military service after World War II, with the help of the G.I. Bill he took a few writing classes at New York’s New School. In his class were such budding writers as William Styron, Mario Puzo and, yes, L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard, went on to his first success as a science fiction writer. But back then he said to Lyle, “If you really want to get rich, you should start a religion.”
Until next time
Posted by Carole Stuart on January 02, 2013
HOT NEWS January, 2013
“And now let us welcome the New Year,
Full of things that have never been."
Rainer Maria Rilke
A brief look back… at 2012 and a hopeful look forward to 2013
A disaster never before experienced by those who live in the Metropolitan New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Staten Island and nearby states. It destroyed many homes and businesses in places close to water where there was no power. Many homes are still uninhabitable.
How weird it was in New York City where the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was flooded with seawater. Apartments at the Battery were disabled while at the same time the Upper West Side was another world entirely, untouched. My view south from our apartment building, lucky not to lose power, was total darkness that persisted for more than a week.
“Sandy” brought forth the spirit of community and charity. Friends who were displaced camped out in apartments that were not damaged by the storm. Just plain folks volunteered to help neighbors in any way they could --packed boxes of disaster relief goods ranging from diapers and soap to canned goods and blankets and baby toys. The New York Food Bank in the Bronx, The Community Food Bank of New Jersey are only two of many organizations, that were filled with volunteers. In the Bronx, at the end of one half day more than 1300 boxes were packed that would help 3000 people. That was just one day and one organization. Many people got themselves to where help was needed – Staten Island, The Rockaways, Long Beach, The Jersey Shore… to lend a hand.
Good people I knew died this past year - some I’ve already mentioned but are worth noting again.
whose international best seller, NAKED CAME THE STRANGER Barricade published. A brilliantly choreographed hoax written by twenty-four newspaper reporters from Long Island’s Newsday, each writing a sexy, funny chapter in a book that became an international best seller. He was also the co-author of two books with Linda Lovelace: ORDEAL and OUT OF BONDAGE
in recent years started the Mabel Mercer Foundation that each year produces a week of cabaret music that has boosted the careers of performers like Karen Akers, KT Sullivan, Barbara Carroll, Steve Ross, and Andrea Marcovicci to name just a few.
In an earlier career Donald was a brilliant publicist. Years ago Citadel Press published THEY HAD FACES THEN, an oversized coffee table book illustrated with photos of the most famous stars in Hollywood written by John Springer, also a top PR man. Donald arranged a party at the now gone Rainbow Room. There was non-stop music, dancing on the famous revolving dance floor and lavish food and drink. The hosts were Henry Fonda and Joan Crawford. The cost: only $1500. How he managed that, we never found out.
Donald was loved and charmed by many who were eager to sing a few songs and hope to become famous. Many did.
Helen Gurley Brown,
whose SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL made history and was republished by Barricade Books along with SEX IN THE OFFICE, was not only a legend but a great gal. She and her beloved husband, David Brown, were the nicest people and great sports. We also published David’s THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IS THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE. Both of them would willingly travel to towns far from New York City to promote their books.
Patrick (Bob) O’Connor,
who many knew as Pat, and was Uncle Bob to a large, loving family, was a legend in book publishing, having worked at Washington Square Press, Pinnacle Books, Popular Library, New American Library and Warner Books. (He certainly got around.) He published Ayn Rand, (Father) Andrew M. Greeley, Lincoln Kirstein and Janet Flanner among many others.
He wrote as well and in a memoir told the story of taking up skiing at the age of about 65. A friend convinced him to try. He described going down the easiest hill on skis as wide as ironing boards. By the time he reached the bottom, he was hooked.
He soon became a ski instructor and for years took up winter residence at Killington in Vermont where, as he described, he specialized in teaching the old and infirm.
He was funny, and smart and generous. At his memorial his family talked about “Uncle Bob” who never forgot a birthday, sent cards and whatever else he thought might be of interest to a long list of friends and relatives, and was a frequent visitor to his extended family of nieces and nephews. He was a poet too. His “No Poem for Fritz” was published in 1978 by Colorado Quarterly
Moving from the past to the present, I wish a big welcome to the babies of friends, and relatives and pals, some recently born, others a bit older. Their smooth faces and bright eyes and ready smiles should make us optimistic about the future. I only mention first names of the parents to honor their privacy, even if many are on Facebook for the world to see.
Jeff and Rachel welcomed twin boys Jack Thomas and Benjamin Marshall who are growing rapidly and keeping the family very busy.
Amy and Michelle‘s Conrad is not so little any more but is very cute.
Holly and Dan’s darling Talia Jeanne will always remind me of her grandma, Jeanne.
A bi-coastal baby girl made doting grandparents of Joan and Skip.
Matt and Dawn’s Sebastian and James are close cousins to Arianna and Billy’s son Benjamin – all west coasters who add to our extended family full of lively boys.
This list of children closes with my niece Carla’s twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin, growing and thriving and my daughter Jen and son-in-law Brad’s family of three boys, Dylan, Justin and Jackson whose little sister, Sloane completes their family.
Until next time, a poem by Patrick O’Connor from the above mentioned book:
Father Lynch, that wise and holy man, used to say
In the dark depths of the Saturday confessional:
“If you continue to masturbate you will go crazy.”
He was absolutely right.
God rest his soul…
My best wishes for a Happy New Year !
Posted by Carole Stuart on August 13, 2012
When Helen Gurley Brown’s name is mentioned, her famous ground-breaking book, SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL is always spoken in the same breath. As it was in the obits for Helen who died this week (August 13th) at the venerable age of 90. Her devoted husband, David Brown, died in 2010. He was 94.
I don’t know how many would associate Helen with Argentine tango, but here goes.
A few years ago, Helen and David, and Lyle and I, met for dinner. Lyle went on about my obsession with tango. I had been taking lessons for years with Paul Pellicoro and dressing up nights to go tango dancing.
Helen was intrigued. I made her an offer. “I’ll treat you to a lesson with Paul. He’s wonderful. You’ll love it.” She took me up on the offer. I suggested she keep taking lessons with Paul, but being famously thrifty, she thought he charged too much.
Months later, on one of the morning television shows they were doing a piece about how people can enjoy life at an age when most would be thinking of retirement.
And there was Helen. And she was in a tight red dress. On television. Doing the tango! What a gal!