CITIES How New York was made …

Posted by on 30. August 2016
Charyn

That's the cover of the book

WHAT AN ENTERTAINING BOOK! I discovered it late, since Jerome Charyn wrote it in 2004 already: „Gangsters & Gold Diggers“. It’s by far the most amusing and surprising story of Broadway, and therefore of New York, written as a clever readers menu: in about 20 biographies of criminals, dancers, singers, actors, writers and politicians. Well known some, but Charyn is brave enough to demount heroes and praise heavies. By digging up amazing unknown facts, really rewriting what was believed to be reality. Did you know that New York’s mayor Jimmy Walker, the worst crook in a public office in the 1920s and 1930s, wanted to put an illuminated wristwatch on the torch arm of the Statue of Liberty? And that we would not have he world’s most important entertainment, sport and gossip industry – no Al Jolson, no Bessie Smith, no Irving Berlin, no Damon Runyon, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio or Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck or George Gershwin (to name only nine) – in the USA, if the gangsters had not sponsored them, given them a chance to appear in public and earn a living with their art? I was so sorry, when the book ended …

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