In 1944, a band of Jewish guerrillas emerged from the Baltic forest to join the Russian army in its attack on Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. The band, called the Avengers, was led by Abba Kovner, a charismatic young poet. In the ghetto, Abba had built bombs, sneaking out through the city's sewer tunnels to sabotage German outposts. Abba's chief lieutenants were two teenage girls, Vitka Kempner and Ruzka Korczak. At seventeen, Vitka and Ruzka were perhaps the most daring partisans in the East, the first to blow up a Nazi train in occupied Europe. Each night, the girls shared a bed with Abba, raising gossip in the ghetto. But what they found was more than temporary solace. It was a great love affair. After the liquidation of the ghetto, the Avengers escaped through the city's sewage tunnels to the forest, where they lived for more than a year in a dugout beside a swamp, fighting alongside other partisan groups, and ultimately bombing the city they loved, destroying Vilna's waterworks and its powerplant in order to pave the way for its liberation.Leaving a devastated Poland behind them, they set off for the cities of Europe: Vitka and Abba to the West, where they would be instrumental in orchestrating the massive Jewish exodus to the biblical homeland, and Ruzka to Palestine, where she would be literally the first person to bring a first hand account of the Holocaust to Jewish leaders. It was in these last terrifying days--with travel in Europe still unsafe for Jews and the extent of the Holocaust still not widely known--that the Avengers hatched their plan for revenge. Before it was over, the group would have smuggled enough poison into Nuremberg to kill ten thousand Nazis. The Avengers is the story of what happened to these rebels in the ghetto and in the forest, and how, fighting for the State of Israel, they moved beyond the violence of the Holocaust and made new lives. From Rich Cohen, one of the preeminent journalists of his generation and author of the highly praised Tough Jews, a powerful exploration of vindication and revenge, of dignity and rebellion, painstakingly recreated through his exclusive access to the Avengers themselves. Written with insight, sensitivity, and the moral force of one of the last great struggles of the Second World War, here is an unforgettable story for our time.
After the high-praised Tough Jews and The Avengers Rich Cohen has written an iconic memoir-a tale of American youth and friendship between young men. He writes about growing up on the Great Lakes, about emerging from the shadow of a father and falling under the spell of an unforgettable friendship-and about the pain of looking back on that friendship with adult eyes. In a memoir that moves from the shores of Lake Michigan to the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter to the hallowed halls of the old New Yorker, he captures the humble dreams that fuelled a momentous bond in the days of kissing girls, getting drunk for the first time, driving to a Chicago blues club in a borrowed car, seeing the Cubs finally win from the cheap seats at Wrigley Field on a glorious summer afternoon. We've all had a friendship like the one Rich Cohen celebrates in Lake Effect: a friendship that defined us at a critical time, that gave us courage, and helped us out of adolescence and into adulthood. With high hilarity and disarming tenderness, Cohen chronicles this golden time and the bittersweet legacy it left behind.
Payton. Hampton. McMahon. Ditka. Even the casual football fan recognizes these names, the pillars of the 1985 Chicago Bears. Walter "Sweetness" Payton, the fleet-footed running back. Dan Hampton, the hard-charging defensive tackle known as the "Danimal". Jim McMahon, the punky quarterback, changing plays on the fly. And Mike Ditka, the hotheaded, mustachioed head coach. They were a scrappy team: they played rough; they had heart; they recorded "The Super Bowl Shuffle. " In the winter of 1985, they were the team Chicago needed--a team to believe in and rally around: champions for a city all too accustomed to losing. Rich Cohen was seventeen years old when the Bears won their first and only Super Bowl; he was in the Super Dome when they defeated the New England Patriots 46-10. In Monsters, he breathlessly recounts the thrilling narrative of their championship season. It's a story filled with outsized characters and unbelievable-but-true anecdotes gleaned from extensive interviews with the players themselves. It's a story about fathers and sons, love and loyalty, hope and redemption, pain and joy. It's a story about football, in all its beauty and all its brutality-the uniquely American sport. These are the 1985 Chicago Bears as only Rich Cohen could describe them. You'll never see the team, or the game, or your own childhood idols the same way ever again.
"Brilliant; the best book I have ever read about the recording industry; a classic."--Larry King On the south side of Chicago in the late 1940s, two immigrants; one a Jew born in Russia, the other a black blues singer from Mississippi; met and changed the course of musical history. Muddy Waters electrified the blues, and Leonard Chess recorded it. Soon Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry added a dose of pulsating rhythm, and Chess Records captured that, too. Rock & roll had arrived, and an industry was born. In a book as vibrantly and exuberantly written as the music and people it portrays, Rich Cohen tells the engrossing story of how Leonard Chess, with the other record men, made this new sound into a multi-billion-dollar business; aggressively acquiring artists, hard-selling distributors, riding the crest of a wave that would crash over a whole generation. Originally published in hardcover as Machers and Rockers. About the series: Enterprise pairs distinguished writers with stories of the economic forces that have shaped the modern worlds; the institutions, the entrepreneurs, the ideas. Enterprise introduces a new genre; the business book as literature.
A panoramic narrative history that will give readers a new understanding of the Rolling Stones, viewed through the impassioned and opinionated lens of the Vanity Fair contributor--and co-creator of HBO's Vinyl--who was along for the ride as a young reporter on the road with the band in the 1990s Rich Cohen enters the Stones epic as a young journalist on the road with the band and quickly falls under their sway--privy to the jokes, the camaraderie, the bitchiness, the hard living. Inspired by a lifelong appreciation of the music that borders on obsession, Cohen's chronicle of the band is informed by the rigorous views of a kid who grew up on the music and for whom the Stones will always be the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time.The story begins at the beginning: the fateful meeting of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on a train platform in 1961--and goes on to span decades, with a focus on the golden run--from the albums Beggars Banquet (1968) to Exile on Main Street (1972)--when the Stones were prolific and innovative and at the height of their powers. Cohen is equally as good on the low points as the highs, and he puts his finger on the moments that not only defined the Stones as gifted musicians schooled in the blues and arguably the most innovative songwriters of their generation, but as the avatars of so much in our modern culture. In the end, though, after the drugs and the girlfriends and the rows, there is the music. The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones makes you want to listen to every song in your library anew and search out the obscure gems that you've yet to hear. The music, together with Cohen's fresh and galvanizing consideration of the band, will define, once and forever, why the Stones will always matter.Praise for The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones"Cohen has arrived as one of the greatest social and cultural historians of postwar twentieth-century America. By gracefully blending fastidious reporting, lucid commentary, and an unabashed love for his subjects, Cohen has managed to write about gods and elevate them into human beings."--Richard Price "This is a completely fascinating book. Rich Cohen locks into everything that's crazy and passionate about the Rolling Stones while never losing his clear-sighted presence of mind. Funny, soulful, impeccably reported, and beautifully written, this will be the book about the Stones that will last."--Ian Frazier "Cohen writes like Mick Jagger sings: He's full of energy, swagger, and creativity. In one sense, this book is easy to categorize: File under 'books that are awesome and delightful to read.' But it's also hard to categorize. It's part memoir, part cultural history, part biography, part manifesto, part behind-the-scenes look at the joyful debauchery of one of the world's greatest bands. However you label it, you'll have a blast reading it."--A. J. Jacobs "Cohen is one of the select few to be invited behind the curtain of the Rolling Stones' real-life rock 'n' roll circus, but he never loses the perspective of having once been a kid staring in awe at his brother's poster of the band."--Alan Light"Cohen was born to write this book, and he waited just long enough to do it. Reporting the hell out of a lifelong obsession, he gives us the Rolling Stones in so many dimensions they stalk off the page. The fanboy becomes a man, with judgments seasoned, supple, razor-sharp, slyly funny, and still besotted. A great story, masterfully told."--William FinneganFrom the Hardcover edition.
Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"In WHEN I STOP TALKING, YOU'LL KNOW I'M DEAD, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever.And of course, the story is not yet over . . .as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come."As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists . . . everyone.
A fast talking wise-guy from the Bronx, Weintraub became a millionaire by handling some of the biggest acts in show biz, most notably Elvis and Frank. The stories in this work will speak to anyone who's ever had a dream and the moxie to make it happen.