Kill the Dutchman! The Story of Dutch Schultz

Paul Sann

“On October 23, 1935 a rusty, steel-jacketed .45 slug tore through the body of Dutch Schultz. The Beer Baron of the Bronx and king of Harlem’s numbers racket had finally gone too far.” Schultz had defied the underworld’s “Big Six” by vowing to gun down Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey, an act that would have brought enormous heat down on the New York mob. Chronicles his rapid rise, fueled by Prohibition, his “Gotham bloodbath” war with rival Mad Dog Vincent Coll, and the details of his famous restaurant rub-out. Schultz, born Arthur Flegenheimer, age 33, got hit relieving himself at a urinal in the Palace Chop House, in Newark, New Jersey. He then walked out, clutching his side, and collapsed at a nearby table, where the famous “death photo” was taken. He actually died later in a hospital of peritonitis. His “deathbed swan song,” recorded by the police is a wiseguy’s ode to motherhood, America, the devil, paranoia, guilt, friends and promises, peppered with food slang of the times (dog biscuits [money), onions [girls), and pretzels [Germans]). Written by an editor of the New York Post, on staff in the ‘30s. GR

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 337 pages

World Encyclopedia of Organized Crime

Jay Robert Nash

“An excursion into the underworld that uncovers the international scope—and historical roots—of today’s organized crime. Brilliantly cataloged by the dean of American true-crime writers, Jay Robert Nash, this volume profiles the notorious gangsters, crime families, cartels and gangland events that have shaped world history. Here are gangs such as the Dead Rabbits and the Whyos, who controlled 19th-century New York; gangsters such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Legs Diamond and Dutch Schultz, who brought crime to new heights of money-making and bloodshed; and contemporary organizations such as the Medellin Cartel, the ‘Pizza Connection’ gangsters, the Yakuza gangs of Japan, and New York’s powerful Gambino family.”

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 624 pages

Murder Can Be Fun #11: I Heart Disasters

John Marr

Featuring the Boston Molasses Flood, the Port Chicago Explosion and many other fine mishaps.

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 32 pages

Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich

Myron Sharaf

A former patient and student of Reich’s, Sharaf, having been personally invested in Reich and passionate about Reich’s work since discovering The Function of the Orgasm in 1944, gives us a close look at the complex weave of events, people and ideas that made up Reich’s life. Sharaf provides a detailed account of the private and public conflict which Reich endured until his death in an American federal pen on November 3, 1957, ignored or ridiculed by the public at large. The book covers Reich’s childhood, his years as “Freud’s pet,” his breakup with the Communist party and his expulsion from Viennese psychoanalytic circles in 1934, as well as illustrating Reich’s theoretical innovations in psychology, sociology and science.
The book explains Reich’s theoretical development from genital-centered “orgastic potency” to his discovery of the “orgone” (life energy) in 1940. Reich wished to counteract the murderous form of atomic energy with the life-furthering functions of orgone; this branched into the realization of orgone energy accumulators and rain-making machines by the early 1950s.
Reich’s interest in the ideas of Henri Bergson and Friedrich Nietzsche helped push his ideas on “mental health” beyond “mental” phenomena; his work with low-income laborers in clinics led to many theories on how “exploiters” use sexual repression. Reich’s ideas, an inspiration to the work of people like Deleuze and Guattari, point out how neurosis goes from the personal to the social and back, the body and its sexual potential being the very thing which must be contained since capitalist economies use people as natural resources.
By the time Reich began researching life energy itself, in and around people, his ideas of a conspiracy in the U.S. to persecute and discredit him seemed not so far-fetched. Beginning in 1956, the U.S. Government and the FDA burned his accumulators and publications. He was in jail by the following year. This is an easy, thorough and inspirational read about a fascinating life and some of the most important ideas on humanity and its environment. KH

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 550 pages

The Chicago Conspiracy Trial

John Schultz

A dynamic eyewitness account of the infamous Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the events surrounding it by journalist-historian John Schultz. Involving eight antiwar activists (including Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale, Dave Dillinger, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin) accused by the Government of “conspiracy” and with individually crossing state lines to “incite, organize, promote and encourage” the antiwar riots in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention, the trial proved to be one of the most crucial events of the entire Vietnam War period. From the illegal and arbitrary rulings of Judge Julius Hoffman to the courtroom antics of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin to the bounding and gagging of Bobby Seale and Schultz’s own astonishing conversations with two of the women jurors, the trial is covered in all its bizarre aspects with persistence, clarity and verve. Most remarkable is Schultz’s dispassionate fairness; though generally sympathetic to the defendents he’s not uncritical of some of their motives. Likewise, while capable of appreciating the difficulties faced by the Government prosecutors he’s unsparing in his accounts of the despicable strategies employed in order to win a conviction. Necessary reading for anyone interested in the history of the antiwar movement as well as those concerned with the workings of the jury system. MDG

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 402 pages

Encyclopedia of Black America

Edited by W. Augustus Low and Virgil A. Clift

“A reliable and readable reference that represents in large measure the totality of the past and present life and culture of Afro-Americans,” The Encyclopedia of Black America is a thorough, indispensible survey and summarization of the various major and minor aspects of the history of black Americans. The work of nearly 100 contributors, this volume is an imaginative, balanced accumulation of research, review and coverage presented throughout with scholarship, clarity and reflection. Entries are divided into three categories: articles, biographies and cross references. One drawback, perhaps, is its scale, which necessitates a brevity the editors acknowledge as an unfortunate necessity as the result of space limitations of beyond their control. Nevertheless—and regardless of your specific area of interest—this extraordinary single-volume reference text on Afro-American life and history is an excellent place to begin. MDG

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 921 pages

Slavery: A World History

Milton Meltzer

“Slavery is not and has never been a ‘peculiar institution,’ but one that is deeply rooted in the history and economy of most countries. Although it has flourished in some periods and declined in others, human bondage for profit has never been eradicated completely.
“In Slavery: A World History Meltzer traces slavery from its origins in prehistoric hunting societies; through the boom in slave trading that reached its peak in the United States with a pre-Civil War slave population of 4 million; through the forced labor under the Nazi regime and Soviet gulags; and finally to its widespread practice in many countries today, such as the debt bondage that miners endure in Brazil or the prostitution that women are sold into in Thailand. In this detailed, compassionate account, readers will learn how slavery arose, what form it takes, what roles slaves have performed in their societies, what everyday existence is like for those enchained, and what can be done to end the degrading practice of slavery.”

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 344 pages

The Black Panthers Speak

Edited by Philip S. Foner

A documentary history of the movement responsible for providing both inspiration and ideological guidance for discontented urban African Americans in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, The Black Panthers Speak is an excellent anthology of the most vital writings of the party. With offerings from leaders from co-founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, to Eldridge Cleaver, David Hilliard and Fred Hampton, this collection of essays, interviews and manifestoes fiercely articulates the vision, the rage and the militancy that was uniquely the Panthers’. While their ties with Marxism-Leninism may today appear misguided and naive, they nevertheless attempted to organize the black community—against lethal odds—toward specific political ends: control of the police, a breakfast program for school children, free health clinics, liberation schools. Despite its decline in the mid-’70s (brought about, in part, by Nixon and Hoover’s open vow to destroy them) the party’s successes and failures have nevertheless provided instructive lessons for the activists—black and white, male and female, gay and straight—who followed in its wake. MDG

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 281 pages

Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz

Rudolph Höss

Up-close journals written by one of the most infamous Nazi death camp commanders of World War II. A very bleak and disturbing look into the mind of Rudolph Höss and the genocidal plot of the Final Solution. These memoirs journey from day one of this senior Reich officer’s career up until his day of execution, bringing to light a brutal and almost unfathomable time in history, as well as the sad nature of Höss’ pride and merits. Complete with reference guide listing all of the historic SS criminals. Ruthless and mortifying, this document is guaranteed to disturb and educate about the horrors that occurred at Auschwitz. TD

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 390 pages

The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler

Robert G.L. Waite

A psychoanalytical study focusing on the Fuehrer as personality: his transformation from disillusioned artist to semi-divinity; his childlike traits; his Oedipal conflicts; his obsessions with time, cleanliness and wolves; his tastes in visual art and literature; his fears of women and sexual interests; his love affairs and much more, with a very good analysis of how his private neuroses translated into public policy. Especially interesting is the author’s exposition on Hitler’s personality as the literal foundation of National Socialism: “He was not the interpreter of an ideology; he was the idea made incarnate. He was Nazism.” BS

Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 482 pages