A riveting, well-documented account of survival that’s harrowing, inspiring and unforgettable.


Auschwitz #34207


Debut biographer Geise (The Eighth Sea, 2012) tells the remarkable story of Joe Rubinstein, a survivor of the Holocaust.

The author writes that Rubinstein was born Icek Jakub Rubinsztejn, in Radom, Poland, in the 1920s, “when the world paused from its madness—between the great and terrible war and the one yet to come.” Along with three brothers, he was raised in a devoutly Jewish home. His family was poor, and barely scraped by after the early death of Rubinstein’s father. At the age of 12, Rubinstein was hired at a lumberyard, where he worked to supplement the family income. Later, he learned shoemaking, and in that job, he first became aware of the Nazi movement and growing anti-Semitism. Then, in September 1939, his world changed, as the Germans invaded Poland. Joe and his brother Abe are forced to dig trenches around the city for fortification, and he experienced the cruelty of Nazi commanders who randomly shot and killed people in the work camp. When the Nazis sequestered the Jews of Radom, Rubinstein was taken prisoner––barefoot and in the middle of the night––and shipped to a prison camp at Auschwitz, where he was stripped, shaved and tattooed with the number 34207. He remembered thinking, “You mark me like an item to be sold! Who are you to do this to me?” The harrowing details of his next several years are mind-numbing and nauseating; indeed, Geise’s account of the horrid prison conditions, beatings and mental abuse almost defies human understanding. The disturbing black-and-white archive photographs accompanying the text will nearly overwhelm readers, who may need to take frequent breaks from the material. Fortunately, in the final section, Geise recounts Rubinstein’s inspiring climb out of darkness, as he finds true love, starts a new life in America and, in an ironic twist, becomes one of New York’s most renowned shoe designers. With its thorough chapter endnotes, helpful timeline, extensive research citations and suggested discussion questions, this biography may serve as an ideal teaching tool for students of the Holocaust.

A riveting, well-documented account of survival that’s harrowing, inspiring and unforgettable.

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-939919-12-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: Merry Dissonance Press

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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