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Gangsters vs. Nazis: Book Talk with Michael Benson

We're pleased announce a book event and author talk with Michael Benson, author of Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in Wartime America, on June 26!

Cover of the bookJoin us on Zoom Sunday, June 26th from 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time to learn more about how Jewish gangsters were the front line in combating the growing Fascist movement in the United States in the late 1930s, until the USA entered WWII. You do not have to have read the book prior to attending the Zoom talk, though we recommend it. 

For folks in the Detroit area, we recommend picking up Gangsters vs. Nazis from Bookbeat, or ordering via Bookshop.org, which also features options for audiobooks. 

Content warnings for this book: Nazi violence and ideology, gang violence, all manner of vice, domestic abuse, prostitution, stereotypes

about the book:

Gangsters vs. Nazis tells the riveting true story of how Jewish mobsters broke up Nazi meetings and Nazi bones, from New York to LA and many points in between, in the lead up to World War II.

Read about the judge who saw the USA's free speech protections being abused to endorse Hitler's genocidal ideology, and reached out to mob bosses like Meyer Lansky and Longie Zwillman for help sending a message in terms the fascists would understand. Read about the mob enforcers, boxers, and daring undercover journalists who broke up a rising tide of fascist organizing with not just exposés in the press, but also fists, broken pool cues, baseball bats, and smoke bombs. Read the story behind that shocking film reel of Isadore Greenbaum going up against the head of the German-American Bund in Madison Square Garden, and the riots that broke out afterward (For more on that, check out A Night At The Garden).

Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob's most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight . . . This is the story of the mob that's rarely told—and one of the most fascinating chapters in American history.

Michael Benson embraces his subject matter with gusto. It's clear in his telling who is on the side of evil, so outlaws become unlikely heroes (at times with the encouragement or tacit acceptance of the law), while not pretending they were upright in every way. With its rat-a-tat reportorial tone and Damon Runyonesque mobster jargon, Gangsters vs. Nazis is a fast-paced tour of late 1930s Jewish gangster notables and how they rose to the occasion when the values of equality and Jewish self-determination were under threat. While the kids were reading about the newly created Superman and Captain America fighting villainy, America's real heroes were notorious gangsters who were more likely to be on an FBI WANTED list than win a Congressional Medal of Honor. They were known in the neighborhoods they protected, and finally, their story is collected here for us all.

Recommended for readers or fans of such media as: Boardwalk Empire, The Plot Against America, or Culture Warlords: My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy

--blurb by Aric Haley, congregant and coordinator of our Speculative Wisdom sci-fi reading group!

Use the form below to RSVP for this online event. We will send out the Zoom information closer to the date. Questions? Email Jake at [email protected]

June 26, 2022 at 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Richard Seeger Maureen Bernard Amy Daliege Ilana Stein Lora Frankel Darryl Mann Barry Rubin Deborah Apple August Zacher Syma Echeandia Jack Zaientz Leora Matison Victoria Kohl

Who's RSVPing

Richard Seeger
Maureen Bernard
Amy Daliege
Ilana Stein
Lora Frankel
Darryl Mann
Barry Rubin
Deborah Apple
August Zacher
Syma Echeandia
Jack Zaientz
Leora Matison
Victoria Kohl

Will you come?

Showing 14 reactions

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  • Richard Seeger
    rsvped 2022-06-26 14:00:42 -0400
  • Maureen Bernard
    rsvped 2022-06-26 13:59:06 -0400
  • Amy Daliege
    rsvped 2022-06-26 08:48:54 -0400
  • Ilana Stein
    rsvped 2022-06-24 07:07:05 -0400
  • Lora Frankel
    rsvped 2022-06-22 08:40:17 -0400
  • Darryl Mann
    rsvped 2022-06-20 18:29:15 -0400
  • Barry Rubin
    rsvped 2022-06-13 16:13:19 -0400
  • Deborah Apple
    rsvped 2022-06-12 20:57:31 -0400
  • August Zacher
    rsvped 2022-06-09 14:51:42 -0400
  • Syma Echeandia
    rsvped 2022-06-01 15:23:38 -0400
  • Jack Zaientz
    rsvped +2 2022-05-30 08:18:07 -0400
  • Leora Matison
    rsvped 2022-05-26 22:42:55 -0400
  • Victoria Kohl
    rsvped 2022-05-26 11:37:48 -0400
  • Jake Ehrlich
    published this page 2022-05-10 16:19:27 -0400