Effectively shows how the relative liberalism of the Roaring ’20s collided with a lingering Victorian moral code.



In this debut nonfiction work, Stewart investigates the circumstances surrounding the murder of a 20-year-old dancer in Jazz Age Southern California.

Frieda “Fritzie” Mann didn’t get to experience much of the Roaring ’20s. In January 1923, the 20-year-old dancer was found dead on Torrey Pines State Beach a few miles north of San Diego. The case isn’t as well known as other contemporaneous Hollywood-connected scandals, like silent film star’s Fatty Arbuckle’s arrest. Stewart uses trial transcripts, newspaper articles, and other primary sources to bring Mann—and the rapidly changing times in which she lived—alive in a fast-paced, thoughtful true-crime work that contextualizes the dancer’s demise within the sociocultural climate of Prohibition-era America. “The story of Fritzie’s tragic death was much more than an intriguing Jazz Age murder mystery; in many ways, it defined one of the most fascinating eras in U.S. history,” he writes. At the time, Stewart reports, San Diego was “a backwater and Fritzie Mann wasn’t famous,” but in an age of yellow journalism that would make today’s tabloids blanch, the media pounced on the case. Mann was the “right kind of victim, not just a young white woman, but a beautiful exotic dancer washed up dead in her teddies, who cavorted with Hollywood players and enjoyed assignations at beach cottages and got pregnant out of wedlock.” Louis Jacobs, a physician in the U.S. Public Health Service who had been dating Mann, was charged with the murder. He was acquitted after a trial in which the prosecution theorized that he killed Mann while attempting to perform an abortion on her in a beachside cottage. Stewart ably depicts how the case reflects “the status of women in a changing—and unchanging—society” in which, “despite the apparent wave of liberalism and sexual freedom, the Victorian era moral code and associated laws lingered.” Those laws included an almost complete ban on abortions, driving women to extremes to terminate their pregnancies. As America lurches toward overturning Roe v. Wade, Fritzie Mann’s death carries a haunting resonance.

Effectively shows how the relative liberalism of the Roaring ’20s collided with a lingering Victorian moral code.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-952225-78-9

Page Count: 302

Publisher: WildBlue Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.


A follow-up to the bestselling Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

Teaming up again with his co-author (now wife) on previous books, Hill, a distinguished former Secret Service agent, remembers his days traveling the world as Jacqueline Kennedy’s trusted bodyguard. After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Hill received a medal for valor in protecting the president and his wife, Jackie, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets. Later, the medal vanished along with photos of the author's travels with Mrs. Kennedy as a Secret Service bodyguard. Hill recounts how his search for an old award he never wanted yielded an even greater treasure: forgotten images of his globe-trotting adventures with the first lady. The photographs—some in color, some in black and white—immediately transported the bewitched author back to the glittering heyday of Camelot. Images of Jackie in Paris brought memories of the president’s first major state excursion to France, in 1961, where the otherwise very private first lady was “the center of all attention.” Numerous other diplomatic trips followed—to England, Greece, India, Pakistan, and across South America. Everything Jackie did, from visiting ruined temples to having lunch with Queen Elizabeth, was headline news. Hill dutifully protected her from gawkers and paparazzi not only on public occasions, but also more private ones such as family retreats to the Amalfi Coast and the Kennedys’ country home in Middleburg, Virginia. In three short years, the never-romantic bond between the two deepened to a place “beyond friendship” in which “we could communicate with each other with a look or a nod….She knew that I would do whatever she asked—whether it was part of my job as a Secret Service agent or not.” Replete with unseen private photos and anecdotes of a singular relationship, the book will appeal mostly to American historians but also anyone interested in the private world inhabited by one of the most beguiling but enigmatic first ladies in American history.

A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982181-11-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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