ELEGY IN MANHATTAN by George Jessel

ELEGY IN MANHATTAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

George Jessel, a man of varied talents, has seen two or three glamorous eras slip by on the stages and streets of New York. He watched men and women who were once on top of the glittering pyramid tumble and sink into obscurity or turn away into another life. In free verse he attempts to recreate some of the personalities of Manhattan's tinseled past. They are all ghosts, some very recently gone. Some sound suspiciously like George Jessel, many speak of him, they all speak of themselves, tell their story briefly and add an anecdote or two. Some of the 56 voices speaking from the grave are: LaGuardia, Jimmy Walker, G.M. Cohan, Flo Ziegfeld, Jacob Adler, John Barrymore, Earl Carroll, Anna Held, Helen Morgan, Norma Talmadge (who was Jessel's wife at one time), John Sullivan. The author can't resist a bit of philosophy to sum up -- ""You beat the drums/ Louder and louder/ And before you know it/ You find that the beat/ Grows softer and softer."" A nice introduction to Manhattan's flamboyant past.

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston