Out Goes 2010-In Comes 2011

Posted by Carole Stuart on December 27, 2010 | (128) Comments

OUT GOES 2010 – IN COMES 2011

WIKILEAKS

Julian Assange is either a hero or a monster or a creep depending on who is describing him.  But takes courage to leak documents that are judged “secret” I learned that when I started to work for Lyle Stuart who took on censorship by publishing THE KAMA KALA by today’s standards pretty tame. At the time even nude statues showing sexual positions were forbidden. THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK in 1971 became an underground best seller. William Powell, the 21 year old found all the “recipes” for making Molotov cocktails and bombs in books available in the public library– all public documents. Most of the “recipes” did not work, but every college student had to have it. Most booksellers would not stock it but it managed to sell and sell.

TURNER DIARIES was a novel of racist propaganda only available by mail. The Publisher wanted a wider distribution. Lyle agreed to do it only if he could write an introduction to our edition.  In the introduction he wrote, “THE TURNER DIARIES is a dreadful book. It is ignorant. Even its author boasts, ‘It offends almost everyone; Afro-Americans, feminists, gays and lesbians, liberals, communists, Mexicans, democrats, the FBI, egalitarians, and Jews, Especially Jews: for it portrays them as incarnations of everything that is evil and destructive.’”

Many attacked us for publishing it but in the introduction he went on to say “I have fought censorship all of my adult life. To me, the most precious of all rights in this marvelous country called the United States of America is the freedom to think, write, and say whatever is on your mind, subject to the laws of libel. …No one needs a First Amendment to write about how cute newborn babies are…nobody needs a First Amendment for innocuous ideas or popular points of view. …You and I must always protect the right of the minority – even a minority of one – to express the most outrageous and offensive ideas.  Only then is total freedom of expression guaranteed.”

The question is: can information hurt?  Or does too little information hurt more?

An example of information helping is about my friend, Ted Koryn.  He grew up in Holland but his family fled at the beginning of World War II after his mother read, in German, Hitler’s MEIN KAMPF.  She said, “We are getting out of Europe.”  It was all there, Hitler’s grand plan, for anyone who read MEIN KAMPF.  Should KAMPF be banned – or studied.

WHAT’S UP AT BARRICADE?

Some months ago I told the history of our publishing Rick Porrello’s THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA  after discovering his family’s background. His notorious grandfather and three uncles were all connected to the mob. It is the only book to describe the first top-level meeting of the Sicilian-American Mafia and offers the first in-depth look at the life of Angelo “Big Ange” Lonardo.  

After the Cleveland Mafia book Porrello self-published To Kill The Irishman now a major film due to be released in March.  Its stars include Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Paul Sorvino and Ray Stevenson as Danny Greene, the Irishman of the title. Porrello also runs the website americanmafia.com a great site to check if you are looking for other mob information and books.

We of course are jumping on the opportunity to reissue THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA in paperback with a new introduction and new cover.  It will be available in March, $16.95. (Order from us and get a 20% discount or from your favorite bookseller).

PAUL KRASSNER WINS PEN AWARD

I’ve known Paul Krassner for more years than I can recall. He’s been my friend and author. Our lives and families have intertwined for many years. A few years ago Barricade published his “Murder at the Conspiracy Convention “ with an introduction by George Carlin.  It’s still available.

Paul has long been known as the voice of the underground, and daring founder of The Realist, Recently, he received an honor he well deserves from PEN Oakland.

PEN International, a Nobel Prize-winning organization devoted to defending freedom of expression, was founded in 1921. PEN Oakland (dubbed the “Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times) was founded in 1989 by Ishmael Reed and co-founders Floyd Salas, Claire Ortalda and Reginald Lockett. The Oakland chapter was created as a “multicultural” conclave to “promote works of excellence by writers of all cultural and racial backgrounds and to educate both the public and the media as to the nature of multicultural work.” 

 

Below is an excerpt from Gar Smith’s column as it appeared in The Berkeley Daily Planet

Oakland PEN Writing Awards Honor Paul Krassner, Local Writers

Earlier this December, more than 100 literary buffs descended on the Rockridge Library and squeezed their way into a crowded upstairs meeting room to celebrate the winners of PEN Oakland’s 2010 Josephine Miles Literary Awards. 

PEN Oakland director and poet Gerald Nicosia introduced Paul Krassner as founder of The Realist, cofounder of the Yippies, confederate and editor for Lenny Bruce, and the author of a half-dozen books. Nicosia added a little-known note from Krassner’s long counter-cultural resume (which includes the accolade, “Court Jester to the Revolution”). During a stint as a radio DJ in New York, Krassner got into trouble for broadcasting advice on safe and professional abortion services. Krassner’s advocacy drew the attention of the authorities and resulted in a New York court trial. This trial, Nicosia

noted, eventually lead to the historic Supreme Court ruling, Roe versus Wade, which legalized the choice option for America’s women. 

 

Krassner was the crowd’s favorite. The applause that erupted as he hobbled toward the podium quickly gave way to a standing ovation (and what better way to salute a stand-up comic?). Despite turning 78 in April, Krassner still radiates the same boyish exuberance that has endeared him to readers and cabaret crowds for more than five decades. Krassner’s only concession to age would appear to be the sturdy cane he leans on, but his bum leg is not a sign of aging — it’s the legacy of a police beating he sustained in the Sixties. 

 

As the author of “Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut” and other counter-culture classics, Krassner admitted some embarrassment at receiving the honor. “After spending most of my life as an iconoclast,” he said, he found it strange that he has come to be “treated as an icon.” But he expressed his deep appreciation for one aspect of the award. “I’m thankful that his plaque is not being awarded posthumously.” Krassner spoke about his current project: “Writing my first, long-awaited (at least by me) novel.” He related how he had complained to a friend that writing a novel is such an intense, creative process. “Why is it so hard?” his friend asked. “You’ve spent your whole life making thing up.” “Yes,” Krassner replied, “but that was journalism!”

 

To read the entire article, please go online to the December 14 issue of The Berkeley Daily Planet

 

Coming in early 2011: Gaming the Game: The Inside Story of the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It All Happen by Sean Patrick Griffin (author of Black Brothers, Inc.)  

We are publishing a book revealing the whole story of the NBA betting scandal, the case that sent Jimmy “Baba” Battista (the gambler) and Tim Donaghy (the ref) to prison along with Tommy Martino  (the intermediary). This trio of guys who knew each other from childhood were involved in an elaborate system of betting on games officiated by Donaghy.  Sean Griffin whose BLACK BROTHERS INC was a best seller in the Mid-Atlantic region, was fascinated by the story of big-time illegal sports gambling involving the daily, secretive movement of millions of dollars via offshore sportsbooks. Starting in March 2008, Sean got to spend many hours with Jimmy Battista, whose personal “code of honor” prevented him from speaking with the Feds and he paid the price – prison. As such, authorities – like the general public – for the first time will be hearing how, where, and why the betting was done when they read GAMING THE GAME.

 If you think the ex-ref Donaghy, who penned his own book last year and has appeared in many media forums, was telling the whole story about the betting, and about the federal investigation, you’ve got to read this book. You will also learn about the tight-knit fraternity of the world’s heavyweight gamblers with whom Battista bet, who wagered in sums and in ways that most of us have never imagined.  I addition to his extensive interviewing of Battista, Sean has reviewed confidential law enforcement files, court transcripts, referee and betting statistics, and Battista’s betting records.  He has traveled around the U.S. interviewing current and federal law enforcement officials, sportsbooks manager, bookies, and other pro gamblers to make this a definitive account of the scandal and of big-time sports betting.

 

SOME PERSONAL STUFF

This being the end of the year I’ll indulge myself by writing about what’s going on in my family. 

Carla (my niece) and her twins Daniel and Benjamin (almost 8) are excellent. Carla is busy in sales and self-improvement seminars. The boys manage to be good kids and are very cute and very tall.

Jenni and Brad and the three boys, Dylan, Justin and Jackson have adopted two kittens, Mookie (all black, female) and Sylvester (black and white, male)

Rory is scheduling music work for this summer and already has offers for performances and workshops in Italy, Israel, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

 

Happy Holidays – until next year

Carole

 

 

 

 

MY END OF SUMMER BLOG

Posted by Carole Stuart on August 22, 2010 | (195) Comments

 

EVOLUTION OF A REVOLUTION  

Lyle Stuart was the first publisher of Dr. Albert Ellis with SEX WITHOUT GUILT.  Soon after came the sensational (at the time) THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOVE An icon of 20th century psychology, Ellis was a founder of the cognitive behavioral movement. Barricade Books continued publishing many of Dr. Ellis’ books including When AA Doesn’t Work for You, The Art and Science of Rational Eating and Sex Without Guilt in the 21st Century.

After Ellis’ death two directors at the Albert Ellis Institute, James McMahon PhD, and Ann Vernon Ph.D., produced an impressive collection of Ellis’ writings. Evolution of a Revolution, traces the evolution of Ellis’ philosophy and methodology from its Freudian roots to present day cognitive therapy.  This book will be an important addition to the field of cognitive therapy and will fascinate followers of Ellis’ unique, outspoken approach. Look for it in bookstores, on Amazon or directly from Barricade Books.

 

BARRY FARBER

Barry Farber will celebrate 50 years on the radio this September and was nominated this year to the National Radio Hall of Fame. He launched his career in New York in 1960 and began hosting a national talk show on the ABC Radio Network in 1990. “The Barry Farber Show” is nationally syndicated and is heard Monday through Friday over CRN Digital Talk Radio (http://crntalk.com/)and Saturday afternoons on the Talk Radio network http://www.talkradionetwork.com/).

Everyone who was anyone has been a guest on Barry’s shows.  He’s always a gentleman and while on the conservative side of issues, he invites opposing opinions, rare enough these days.  Over the years, Barry has interviewed most of our authors.  It got me to wondering what it was like to work for him.  For that information I contacted friend Randi Levine-Miller, who has worked her publicity magic for more publishers than I can count, including our old company, Lyle Stuart Inc. These days Randi is a member of New York’s Friar’s Club and was named friar of the year in 2007. 

Like many in the media business, she was once Barry Farber’s producer. “Barry created new phrases and words which I still quote... 'imaginuity'" was one -- he also used the word "phospheresence" quite a bit.  Barry fascinated, educated, mesmerized me with his keen mind & wit -- he also intimidated me like you can't imagine.  I was just a young, starry-eyed girl from Mosholu parkway-- but I learned my lessons well. He had tremendous, positive impact on my life, as well as many others.  I’ll always love & respect my "mashugana mentor"!

In addition to his broadcasting career, Barry has published several books including "Making People Talk," "How to Learn Any Language," "How to Conceal Stupidity" and "How to Not Make the Same Mistake Once." (Barricade Books published the last one)

His latest is almost finished and it’s charming, Title: “Chapter Ones.” As Barry says, after meeting and interviewing thousands of guests he figured he had the makings of 189 great books provided he could come up with all the other chapters.  Not being able to do that this book is made up of single-chapter-books. What a smart idea. They cover a wide range of topics from Cocktails with Molotov” to “Colored Water.”  The latter is one of my favorites and I have Barry’s permission to print it below in its entirety.  Enjoy:

 

Colored Water

            You may not trust the memory of a five-year-old but I'm asking you to trust me on this one.  It's so stark and clear.

            I was five years old.  My mother took me into Woolworth's Department Store in Greensboro, North Carolina and developed an ingenious idea of what to do with me when she wanted to rid herself of a small child and free-roam throughout the store.  She took me downstairs to the toy department and positioned me in the middle of what she thought was the most exciting part of the whole operation for me.

            "Barry," she said.  "I want you to keep that foot there and the other foot there where it is.  Mother's got to go upstairs and do some shopping and I don't want you to move even one inch.  Do you understand?

            I pretended I did, and maybe I almost did.

            Mother made me practice.  Left foot here.  Right foot there.  Nothing moves until mother gets back, okay?  Deal!  I agreed.

            I was in the middle of the toy department, but I eventually got bored with the toys that were within my eyesight.  And I didn't even think of moving one foot or the other.  Eventually I looked up away from the toys and saw two water fountains straight ahead.  I was one of those pain-in-the-neck kids who could read somewhat at the age of five.  The signs over the water fountains interested me.  One sign said, "white" and the other said, "colored."

            "White" and "colored," what was that all about?  Don't forget; I was five.  If you ask a five-year-old what color water is, he won't say "clear."  He'll say "white."  I thought one of those fountains shot forth plain "white" water and the other offered water of various colors.  I had no knowledge of racial segregation at that age and suddenly I thought I might be treated to the spectacle of "colored" water, a prospect almost as exciting as fireworks at that age.

            I kept a keen eye on those fountains.  Everybody who came to take a drink drank from the "white" fountain.  I didn't realize they were all white people.  I just thought they were all exceedingly unimaginative people who didn't want to experience the thrill of "colored" water.  Finally a man came to the "colored" fountain, his skin color meant nothing to me, and my little heart leapt at the notion of finally seeing "colored" water.  Alas, the water from his fountain was just like that from the "white" fountain.

            I clearly remember thinking, "Shucks.  The "colored" fountain is broken today.

            It took a few years to realize the One who made the water had a different concept from the one who made the sign!

            That was, by the way, the same Woolworth's that made international headlines in 1960 when the first successful sit-in of black students from A & T College eventually broke restaurant segregation across the south.

            The water they were eventually served was indistinguishable from that of the whites.

 

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Two recent best sellers for Barricade will be available in trade paperback in about a month. They are two of the more than 20 titles in our True-Crime Series, which grows steadily.  Both titles went into four hardcover printings and continue to be strong sellers.

MAFIA AND THE MACHINE by Frank Hayde

When it was first released in 2008, The Mafia and the Machine shot to the top of the local bestseller list, outselling John Grisham, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Cormac McCarthy at Kansas City area bookstores. Strong sales outside the Midwest have been a delightful surprise, though not altogether unexpected considering the key role the Kansas City Family played on the national scene. Author Frank R. Hayde, who is a U.S. Park Ranger with deep roots in Kansas City, became interested in the subject while working a stint at the Harry Truman National Historic Site, where he learned more about the political “Machine” that became openly intertwined with the powerful local Mafia syndicate. After four sold-out hardback printings, the book is now scheduled for a paperback edition, which includes an update on recent activities in the Kansas City underworld. Hayde will launch the paperback release with an October 23 signing at the Kansas City Store, followed the next day by a signing at the Kansas City International Airport. The Mafia and the Machine has a 4 ½ star rating out of 5 on Amazon and was described by Midwest Book Review as “Efficiently researched and told with a sense of excitement sure to intrigue readers of all backgrounds… a highly recommended contribution to American history and criminal history shelves.”

JAILING THE JOHNSTON GANG: Bringing Serial Murders to Justice by Bruce E. Mowday

Initially, the author hit the road and singlehandedly sold about 1500 copies of the book.  He is an amazing speaker and went everywhere: libraries, book fairs, ladies clubs, you name it.  This one describes the criminal activities of serial murderers Norman, David and Bruce a. Johnston, Sr. (the latter was leader of the gang).  Sr. earned his reputation as a madman, butcher and Chester County, Pennsylvania’s most notorious criminal.  Not bad enough?  After raping his son’s girlfriend, Johnston Sr. ordered his brothers to murder his son and he shot his stepson to death.  The book caught on and was the cleanest selling book of our list last year. To the non-book people: no returns.

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY?

 I was going to end this Hot News with an amusing story but, when I read a recent commentary from Ed Koch, I quickly changed my mind.  What is going on in this, our great nation is shameful. The movement to abolish the right of citizenship to those born in the USA and the argument against constructing a mosque near Ground Zero flies in the face of how this nation was conceived. What makes this country different and, if I may say so, great, is too important not to print Koch’s words:

Ed Koch Commentary                       
August 16, 2010


Citizens Recall And Be Guided By The Letter of President George Washington To The Jews of Rhode Island.  It Applies To The Muslims of New York.

        President Obama was right to express his views on constructing a mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 catastrophe, “As a citizen and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.  And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances.
        The President is also right to oppose as he does the efforts by some to amend the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution to bar babies born to illegal immigrants from becoming citizens.

        Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was first to take up the fight to protect the legitimate rights of American Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero, was right and courageous to lead the way and point Americans in the right direction.

        President Obama, according to The New York Times of August 15th is now “faced with withering Republican criticism of his defense of the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near Ground Zero.” Those leading the charge against the President, according to The Times, “including Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, Representative John A. Boehner, the House minority leader and Representative Peter King of New York, forcefully rejected the President’s stance.”

        The President’s position will be remembered by later generations of Americans with the same high regard as President George Washington’s letter in 1790 to the Jews of Rhode Island who built the Touro Synagogue in that state. Moses Seixas of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island wrote to George Washington: “Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People — a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance — but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: — deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: — This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.”

        President Washington responded as follows: “...The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.   G. Washington”

        Let us not do again, albeit in different form and to a different group what we did to Japanese-Americans during World War II when we rounded them up without cause. No Japanese-American was ever charged with treason, notwithstanding that they were placed in internment camps for the balance of the war.

        I am a proud Jew.  Proud of my religion and my culture. Columnist David Brooks, also Jewish and similarly proud, in a New York Times article of January 12, 2010, wrote of our people’s accomplishments: “Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates. Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.”

        We Jews also have our share of thieves, predators, child molesters, Ponzi-schemers, traitors and profiteers. Muslims have their share of great world accomplishments – the concept of zero, advancements in mathematics, medicine, chemistry, botany and astronomy. They also have their share of crazies, tyrants, homophobes, those holding hostile and irrational attitudes towards women, vilification of Jews, Christians, Hindus and other so-called infidels.

         Let’s be calm now and not need the passage of time to bring us to our senses and years later apologize. Of course, those who suffered the loss of loved ones, and those exposed to the catastrophe of 9/11 have every right to hold opinions opposing the building of the mosque. They are grieving and rightfully enraged at anyone associated in any way with the 19 Muslim terrorists who were responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans killed on 9/11, and all of us must sympathize with them and their feelings.

        But Americans must never forget who we are and why our Founding Fathers and those who built the original 13 colonies came here. It was primarily to find and create a new country in which they could practice religious freedom, denied them in England. Jews found that freedom of religion in New Amsterdam, where the East India Company of Holland directed the first public anti-Semite in that city – its Governor, Peter Stuyvesant – to let them in, he first refusing to do so.

        I believe we are locked in battle with fanatical Islam and will be for the foreseeable future. I do not believe the vast majority of Muslims, and American Muslims in particular, are fanatics or enemies of the American people.

        Government should neither favor nor hinder the efforts of religious institutions, other than to protect their rights to engage in carrying them out as permitted under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

        A final word on those seeking to end the concept of American citizenship by virtue of birth, led by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Don’t they understand that the concept of citizenship by birth is one of the great American ideas of which we have been justly proud and which distinguishes us from many other countries and has served us well? They should not fear the Know Nothings, whose voices are loud, but whose numbers are small. They should not shame themselves by joining these violators of American values and traditions.

Until next time, 

Carole

SUMMER

Posted by Carole Stuart on June 04, 2010 | (178) Comments

SUMMER!

 

Summer has officially started. Memorial Day marked the beginning of escaping from the comfort of your Monday-to-Friday home and travel great distances in lots of traffic to visit your weekend home or the weekend home of a friend. You pack a bathing suit, bring gifts of food or wine or flowers and enjoy yourself only to repeat the journey Sunday afternoon or evening to go back home.

I had a house in Columbia County, upstate New York, for many years. The county became known as “The Unhamptons”—very low key. Now I find myself visiting friends in those Hamptons and even going to Montauk to see my daughter, Jenni, her husband, Brad, and the grandchildren, Dylan, Justin and Jackson. Montauk is referred to as “The End” since it is the very end of the Island. It’s all very pretty, the ocean is spectacular and worth the trip.

 

BOOK EXPO 2010


As many of you readers of this blog know, book publishing is undergoing a transformation as we in the industry try to figure out what the impact of e-books on actual books will be. Our books, like those of most publishers, are up on electronic devices, and each month, we see an increase in sales of e-books. It’s hardly a blip on our radar, but it’s definitely happening. Nevertheless, the tradition of gathering at a huge convention center to hype this fall’s contenders for bestseller lists, and not-quite-bestsellers, continues.

 

In the past, it was a three-day event called the American Booksellers Association convention that took place over the Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been doing this long enough to remember when it was held in Washington, D.C., always sultry that time of year. It took place in the garage of the Shoreham Hotel and was a raucous affair. Lyle Stuart, Inc., our company, gave away all kinds of things: orange juice, ice cream, bottles of Scotch whiskey–even money. You didn’t need an invitation to attend the parties that started after the exhibits closed. All that was necessary was to get off the elevator at a random floor, listen for laughter and the tinkling of cocktail glasses, and you headed in that direction. 

 

Boy, have things grown and changed.

 

This year’s Book Expo America, the convention’s new name, was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City a two-day, midweek affair—Wednesday and Thursday, May 26th and 27, thus freeing all to enjoy a real Memorial Day weekend holiday.

 

The convention is a venue to show off new books and has also become a serious opportunity to sell subsidiary rights. That’s where publishers’ rights people make deals with foreign publishers, book clubs, audio companies, etc. that provide other sources of income outside of traditional (bookstore) outlets.

The hyping of Big Fall Books was intense. I haven’t seen as many bound galleys of the hopeful authors and their publishers given away as this year. There were long lines at many booths where authors signed and gave out galleys. “Free” has unparalleled allure, and attendees were taking home their prizes in a variety of creative tote bags.


Barbra Streisand kicked off the convention Tuesday night before the Expo opening. Barbra was interviewed by Gayle King about her book, A PASSION FOR DESIGN (Viking). She drew a big crowd including my niece, Carla Rose, who is in my debt forever for making this happen. Carla, a Streisand groupie, got a seat up front and networked herself into new friendships.

 

Under “Small World” category, Carla, wearing a Barricade Books badge, sat next to Merrill Kalman who was in New York scouting authors to speak at a luncheon in Phoenix. Merrill asked if she knew Carole Stuart. “She’s my aunt!” Turns out Merrill is close friends with my son-in-law’s mother, also my good friend, Carol Kern, national president of Brandeis National Committee. They are both active in the Phoenix Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee where they host a yearly luncheon that draws top authors who speak and sell lots of their books. All this as a fundraiser for Brandeis.


Merrill visited the Barricade booth, met author Mordechai (Morty) Dzikansky, whose book, TERRORIST COP, The NYPD Jewish Cop Who Traveled the World to Fight Terrorism, comes out this fall. Merrill, coincidentally, had been a NYC cop. She and Morty bonded, and perhaps, he will be a guest at the next luncheon in Phoenix.

 

The Sunday evening before the convention, Morty presented a two-minute talk about his book at the Jewish Book Council, an impressive and important organization comprised of representatives of the major Jewish book fairs and Jewish community centers around the country. They listen to more than 150 authors over a three-day period and invite some to speak at their venues where lots of books are sold.

 

Morty talked about how he became an expert in terrorism having witnessed many suicide bombing scenes. He was immediately invited to three Jewish book fairs.


After reading TERRORIST COP, I was riveted with the information about security. The recent failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square (where, by the way, I was attending a play) prompted Morty to tell me he was not surprised that the street vendors called attention to the illegally parked car. Police are cycled in and out of the area, but the vendors—they are there on a daily basis year in, year out. “We tell them [the vendors] what to look for.” It certainly worked this time. But, Morty cautioned, “You can expect more of this.”


The book not only relates what our Terrorist Cop witnessed after suicide bombings in Israel, Moscow, Istanbul and Spain, it also offers information about what to do and how to become more alert.

 

LYLE STUART

 

I close this Hot News with an article written by friend Jay Gertzman. June 24 marks the fourth anniversary of Lyle’s death. I thought it timely to reprint this essay that describes Lyle Stuart, not by me but through the eyes of a scholar and admirer. I have not identified any of the names in the article; those who are familiar with them will need no introduction. For those who are not—go to Google!

 

Lyle Stuart: Between
George Seldes and I. F. Stone

 

Lyle Stuart, who died on June 24, 2006, at age 83, was as independent and progressive a journalist as America has produced. Stuart worked for Variety for a period in the late 1940s, but left disillusioned by the trade paper’s connections with insiders in Hollywood and its too-friendly relations with key advertisers. From that point on, Lyle Stuart became a maverick in the tradition of George Seldes. As a young book publisher (Lyle Stuart Inc. began in 1956), he dared publish a book by Fidel Castro, (HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME). He issued early exposés of the power of the DuPont family (THE DUPONT DYNASTY), of the FBI (INSIDE THE FBI) and its domestic spying. He published Ferdinand Lundberg’s study of the intractable gulf between the wealth of the “super rich” and the resources of the rest of the population (THE RICH AND THE SUPER-RICH) that became an international bestseller. He published pioneer sex therapist Albert Ellis (SEX WITHOUT GUILT) and best-selling THE SENSUOUS WOMAN, one of the first examples of the mainstreaming of sexually explicit material. In 1959, he proudly reissued Dalton Trumbo's classic antiwar novel, JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN, with an introduction by the blacklisted author.

 

During this period of the 1950s and ’60s, he published a monthly newspaper, Exposé (renamed The Independent), a “press newsletter” (George Seldes’ term) that filled the gap between Seldes’ newsletter, In Fact, and I. F. Stone’s Weekly. Paul Krassner wrote a regular column titled “Freedom of Wit” for The Independent plus feature stories and later became managing editor. In 1958 while working in Lyle’s office he started The Realist.

SStandard histories of American radical periodicals hardly mention Lyle Stuart’s work—an injustice, as well as a blunder. 

 

When Stuart, his first wife Mary Louise and writer Joe Whalen established their monthly Exposé in late 1951, it would not make anyone rich. In fact, Lyle never drew a salary from the paper. Aware from their own print media experience of the imbalance that corporate advertisers had created in print media, Whalen and the Stuarts were determined that Exposé would feature stories major newspapers would not touch due to fear of advertisers’ cancellations or pressure groups’ influence on subscribers or newsstand purchasers. Advertisements do exist in Exposé, mostly for books, but the editors never solicited them. Its founders determined never to reveal a confidential source, and so that no filaments of private wealth (even so-called “philanthropy”) ever entangled them, never to request a donation.

 

The second issue was the turning point. It contained eight articles by Stuart on Walter Winchell, the preeminent gossip columnist of the Hearst newspaper chain. A liberal under FDR, Winchell had become an ardent commie hunter; prominent people were so afraid of him that they crossed the street to avoid coming under his gaze. His innuendos could kill reputations, and his personal truculence was deeply resented. In October 1951, he became embroiled in a nasty contretemps with dancer Josephine Baker about her claim that she, as a black woman, had received poor service in The Stork Club. Winchell was mentioned in her complaint to the NAACP; she accused him of blatantly snubbing her. As Neal Gabler’s book, WINCHELL GOSSIP, POWER, AND THE CULTURE OF CELEBRITY, shows, it was the club’s owner, Sherman Billingsley, not Winchell, who was discriminating against Baker. Winchell could have avoided the “pub-lousity” that followed by apologizing or downplaying the NAACP criticism, but that was not his manner. He wrote many self-justifying columns, ruining his reputation as a supporter of African-American causes.

 

Knowing the potential of a Winchell exposé with smoke from The Stork Club firestorm still in the air, Stuart quickly re-edited his November Exposé and had the staff hand-distribute copies to Times Square newsstands. He had been disappointed with the way the distributor failed to get his first issue displayed and now offered dealers “twice the usual commission,” as Gabler reports, for displaying copies of the second issue. Within an hour, he received calls for more.  Eventually, 91,000 copies were sold.

 

Exposé had a few regular and very important columnists. One specialized in Jim Crow atrocities, another in money management and another in current newspaper policies. In 1956, Paul Krassner began doing satirical essays on his generation’s eccentricities, and Albert Ellis had a monthly essay on how Americans might liberate their sexual desires from taboos. Other publishers had considered Ellis’ sex-related essays too offensive to religious authorities to publish. Lyle Stuart Inc. later published them in book form. There were, in addition, a few top-flight writers whose work Stuart championed. One was Paul Blanchard, whose books on the power of the Catholic hierarchy to censor popular entertainment made him one of Lyle’s favorite advocates for First Amendment issues. Another was Drew Pearson, fearless investigator of Washington power brokers.

 

In the 1950s and ’60s, Lyle attacked hypocrisy and political spin wherever he found it, fearing nothing. When he attacked the Anti-Defamation League for inflating the threat of anti-Semitic hate groups, his printer was forced by community pressure to refuse to do further business with him, and the mayor of North Bergen, New Jersey, had him removed from the board of directors of the Bergen County library. As a powerful supporter of racial equality, Stuart deplored the ADL’s failure to censure forcefully the lack of justice given Southern blacks. Further, he was irate when the organization gave Kate Smith, a singer on record as having anti-Semitic views, an award.

 

Typical targets of Lyle’s investigations were: television networks, for abandoning their responsibility to inform people about national and international affairs because major advertisers wanted programming with which they could integrate their products; Boys Town, for quietly discriminating on the basis of applicants’ race and religion; the West German armed forces for employing former Nazi sympathizers; Eisenhower, for allowing the consumer protection laws to be weakened; the Army, for requesting a loyalty oath including a list of hundreds of suspected subversive organizations that the inductee was to swear he had not joined; the March of Dimes, for obscuring the impending dangers of various killer diseases; abortion laws, for condemning poor women to dangerous medical procedures while wealthy ones had easy access; prison regulations against sex in prison, for institutionalizing homosexuality and nurturing shame, violence, and recidivism.

 

Exposé and The Independent were at the center of independent journalism for 18 years. To hell with Kate Smith. God bless Lyle Stuart, even though he lived and died an avowed atheist.

 

Jay A Gertzman

jgertzma@earthlink.net

 

This is a summary of an article titled “Expose / The Independent,” published in Cult Magazines A to Z, ed. Earl Kemp and Luis Ortiz, (NY: Nonstop Press, 2009), pp.67-72.

 

 

Until next time,

Carole

 

 

 

April

Posted by Carole Stuart on April 16, 2010 | (114) Comments

 

Hot News - April

Jennifer’s Big Birthday

I recently got back from Park City, Utah, where daughter, Jennifer Kern, celebrated her (gulp!) 40th birthday. She’s all grown up now and has her own family.  All of them: Jen, husband Brad, kids Dylan (7), Justin (5) and even Jackson (2-1/2) are on skis.   The big boys ski double black diamond and Jackson, not yet using poles, is fearless and will soon join his brothers.

Family and friends spent spring break/Passover/Easter holiday at a fabulous house one block away from the main street in Park City, where the Sundance Film Festival is held.  Every morning they suited up, opened the side door of the four-story home and got right on the ski lift literally next to the house(taking them to the top of the mountain. (Not the baby!)

Most of the guests were skiers but some of us were shoppers, eaters and lazy people.  It was great fun. Happy Birthday Jen.

 

Another Big Birthday! On May 3rd; one of my dearest friends and authors, Norman Corwin will celebrate his 100th birthday.

For those of you not familiar with Corwin, what follows will give you the briefest of looks at what he has done in his illustrious career and some of what is in the works for The Big Birthday Celebration. (Special thanks to Cristian Borjas, the wonderful fellow who looks after Norman for this information.)


Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe winner, he began as a journalist and writer-director of acclaimed radio dramas before moving on to master virtually every kind of writing; essays, screenplays, television, and theater were just a few of the mediums he conquered. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for “LUST FOR LIFE” when he worked with director VIncente Minnelli and star Kirk Douglas in the story of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh.

 

On now at the Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado, California, through May 23 is  Corwin’s riveting play, THE RIVALRY, a close-up portrait of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas two larger-than-life personalities, and the behind-the-scenes drama between the men and Senator Douglas's beautiful, witty wife Adele.

THE RIVALRY was on at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor was so enthralled she’s trying to have it play at the White House.  Norman promised to invite me!

For many, Norman is best known for On A Note of Triumph. On May 8, 1945, 60 million Americans tuned in to hear this radio masterpiece marking the end of World War II in Europe. Lauded by Carl Sandburg as "one of the all-time great American poems," it was the most listened-to radio drama in U.S. history. You can listen to it by going on the NPR website: www.npr.org. They rebroadcast it on May 26, 2005 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the historic broadcast. 

The Corwin family is something of a genealogical miracle.  Norman’s brother, Emil, just turned 107.  Their father, Sam, lived to 110.

When Authors Meet Authors

Recently, two of our authors met at our office.Tom McShane STOLEN MASTERPIECE TRACKER, (with Dary Matera) and Jim O’Neil A COP’S TALE: NYPD – THE VIOLENT YEARS (with Mel Fazzino) discovered both were living on Long Island; both were retired – McShane from the FBI and detective sergeant O’Neil from the NYPD.  Need I point out both are Irishmen?

 

The inevitable happened and they were soon a team. Tom told Jim he was working on an unsolved theft involving paintings valued in today’s market at close to $600-million.  This past March 18 marked the twentieth anniversary of the theft from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and there’s still not a clue as to who the perpetrators are.

 

What greater challenge could you offer law enforcement guys?  Toss in the $5-million reward and it wasn’t long before they were uncovering facts that should have been obvious to any good investigator. When Jim spoke to Anthony Amore, currently the head of security for the museum, and told him what he found all he said was, “If you had been involved in the initial investigation this would have been solved nineteen years ago.” Of course, Mel Fazzino and pal Melissa Stanton who helped publicize A COP’S TALE became part of the team.

 

Stolen were three Rembrandts, one Vermeer, five Degas drawings, and a Manet.  I hope they find them and get the reward. And I hope they remember Barricade when they write about it!

 

Coming This Fall from Barricade Books

You’ll be hearing lots more about our Fall/Winter list but here’s an early look at two of our upcoming titles.

Our a long relationship with Leon Charney began in 2001 with our publication of THE CHARNEY REPORT, interviews from his television show of the same name with a wide range of guests from the world of diplomacy and politics to literature and entertainment. In 2006, Charney gained acclaim with THE MYSTERY OF THE KADDISH written with Saul Mayzlish.

This September we will publish BATTLE OF THE TWO TALMUDS. Charney and Mayzlish again extend their reach into Jewish history exploring the reasons and methods rabbis and talmudic scholars abandoned the Holy Land to settle in what came to be known as the lands of the Diaspora.

 

TERRORIST COP by Mordecai Dzikansky and Bob Slater incorporates both Judaism and true-crime.

Morty Dzikansky became a cop - unusual for a Jew - even more so for an orthodox Jew. A rarity in the NYPD, he soon became the go-to Jewish cop whenever a crime involving Jewish issues came up. One  major assignment was the case of the stolen torahs. The thefts seemed to center around Englewood, New Jersey. A lot of torahs were being stolen and fenced.  Morty found the thieves, the torahs, and closed the case.

After the Twin Towers came down on 9/11, New York City’s police commissioner Ray Kelly assigned him to live in Israel and learn as much as he could about suicide bombers. This information would be vital to the security of New York City as evidenced by the extremely effective security methods New York uses to counter terrorism.

Much of the book details Morty’s witnessed accounts of the aftermath of suicide bombings and reporting back to the NYPD about how the Israelis confront the ongoing horror of repeated attacks.  His background eventually took him beyond Israel to Turkey and Moscow where he gathered intelligence and sent it back to New York. It is truly a heart-stopping read.  Look for it in November.

I close this Hot News with a piece written not by me but by dear friend, Patrick O’Connor who fills my mailbox with funnies and makes me smile.

GENE KELLY’S BROTHER AND THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND 

When I was eight years old I said to my father, “Please may I take tap dancing lessons?” He didn’t say the words but he gave me that look which clearly said only sissies take tap dancing lessons. Ever the smart mouth I said “What about your friends the Kelly brothers.” Gene Kelly, his younger brother Fred, their mother and sister had a dancing school in East Liberty; a streetcar ride away from Braddock. My father, an Irish tenor who sang around Pittsburgh, must have known them through that or else they were originally from Homestead or Munhall.
 
Fred Kelly was a staff sergeant on General Eisenhower’s staff in England prior to D-Day in Europe. Fred was not in the entertainment section but Eisenhower knew he could tap dance and asked him if he would go to Buckingham Palace and teach the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret to tap dance like Shirley Temple.
 
Sergeant Kelly went several times a week and indeed taught the little princesses to tap dance. He also taught them to do the Can-Can. When the English papers found out that an American soldier had taught the princesses the Can-Can there was a major scandal and England, all England, was horrified. The Can-Can as you may recall is a dance where the girls raise their skirts above their heads and expose their thighs which was considered very, very shocking in those backward days. The country was up in arms.
 
Fred Kelly was nearly court-martialed for doing such an outrageous thing. Years later there was a command performance in the presence of the now Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for the premiere of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS starring Gene Kelly. After the film there was a receiving line with the Queen and the Prince at the head of it.  The only time in history that Queen Elizabeth broke ranks and left her position; she went up to Gene Kelly and said, “You must be Fred’s brother.”

Until next time

Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID BROWN

Posted by Carole Stuart on February 02, 2010 | (36) Comments

David Brown, film and Stage Producer,  and our author, died at the age of 93.  His obituary, written by Bruce Weber, appears in the New York Times today, February 2nd.

He was an elegant, talented man and a good friend.  His wife, Helen Gurley Brown survives him.  They were married for 51 years.

Below is a repeat of my Hot News of last  August all about the Browns.  It's worth reading again.

(I posted this after I wrote my blog of February 1 -- please don't miss that!)

sex and the very married girl

Posted by Carole Stuart on August 28, 2009 | (0) Comments

sex and the very married girl

Helen Gurley Brown is in the news again. A biography, Bad Girls Go Everywhere, gives her the recognition she has earned as a truly liberated female.  In the days of the militant women’s movement, Helen had the nerve to go in the opposite direction.  As editor for Cosmopolitan, she was a girly girl and proud of it. How to meet, catch a man. How to be sexier, etc. It must have resonated with women because she stayed at the top of the heap for many years.

Her devoted husband, David Brown, no slouch himself, was co-producer of such films like, A Few Good Men, The Verdict, and Cocoon as well as the Broadway musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  David also wrote all the cover lines for Cosmopolitan when Helen was its editor.

Lyle and I had the pleasure of publishing both David and Helen. David’s two books, The Rest of Your Life is the Best of Your Life and Brown’s Guide to the Good Life Without Tears, Fears or Boredom.  We also republished two of Helen’s, her best selling Sex and the Single Girl and Sex in the Office. (Check all four titles on our website).

I think of Helen and David as the nicest, easiest to work with authors.  They are both pros—will go anywhere to sign books.  And they have.  Helen went to Bookends, a terrific bookstore in Ridgewood NJ where all the top authors appear. Unfortunately, the evening of her signing was rainy and dismal.  But she was undaunted as was the crowd who came to hear her. She signed and sold a lot of books.  David was the same. He’d sit in a booth at a convention, pleasantly greeting people and signing books. 
When we published Brown’s Guide to the Good Life he had a signing at Barnes & Noble on 82nd Street and Broadway, set up by the events manager, Lou Pizzitola.  It was a great crowd and it soon became the “David and Helen Show” as Helen joined in from the audience bantering lovingly with David.

Helen’s concern was that Barricade not lose money on the books.  Not to worry, Helen, we did fine. 
My fondest feelings for David and Helen come from their thoughtfulness after Lyle died.  Lots of friends were calling and were very attentive.  They could have done the same. They went a step further, took me to dinner at Le Cirque and cheered me up. 
Their love for each other is an example of how relationships can work.

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