Milton Berle is acknowledged as the man who made television popular. The millions who religiously watched The Texaco Star Theater which became The Milton Berle Show can attest to the genesis of TV: In the beginning, there was Uncle Miltie. His audience of 86% of all those with TV sets has never been equaled, not even by Seinfeld. But who was Milton Berle behind his showbiz persona? My Father, Uncle Miltie, puts the complicated legend in an entirely new light.
Bradley Lewis knew at a very early age that he didn’t quite fit in, or more likely that he wasn’t quite welcome. His look back illuminates a disturbing and peculiar seesaw Long Island childhood. His father was an emotionally remote man who spent a lot of his time away from his son. Lewis’ high-functioning mother was a businesswoman whose bohemian personality could bring a busy store to a standstill. Home life in the Lewis household was an off-beat combination of overachievement riddled with constant criticism. Early on, Lewis realized that his family wasn't very much like the others in town. Eventually he escaped to Manhattan, but not without carrying the family abuse with him. Lewis moves the reader swiftly through time; from his earliest memories until he finally breaks free. Mazie Was Crazy is a compassionate, sensitive analysis that recalls firsthand experience; a cultural criticism about growing up on insular Long Island; a deeply moving memoir with vividly colorful characters. Lewis shows the reader why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to have achieved almost anything. The reader will experience the flaws of the somewhat privileged, but also its family strengths wrapped within a traumatic portrait - what can wrong inside American families and the dysfunction that afflicted so many children born in the fifties and sixties. Lewis describes the alcoholism, sexual abuse, and an unrelenting system of control. A powerfully written memoir about the author’s journey from a troubled childhood to the beginning of life alone at NYU in Manhattan. Heartbreaking, heartwarming and dotted with ribald humor, it opens a small window of suburban America, one usually hidden from view, while offering genuine hope in the form of hard-hitting honesty. This quick and engaging insightful read is well suited to anyone interested in baby-boomer Jewish-American families.
In three different loosely-related vignettes, Bradley Lewis uses a fictional narrative to present a glaring view of lives gone sour. Dissolution takes you to the darkest place in the lives of three different couples; two are married, and one young couple struggling with the idea of permanency. This tour de force will grab you from the first page and lead you down a path of circumstances that have gone horribly wrong. These addicting stories will send chills down the spine of anyone who has ever been married or in a relationship. What happens when your spouse becomes controlling and dangerous? Is abduction a reasonable out? What do you do when you suspect that your friend is sleeping with your wife? Does violence solve anything? What if your girlfriend has lied to you, not just about her motivations, but about everything? But hasn’t deception always been part of the game? Wealthy Lauren and Louie live in Beverly Hills, where life on the rocks is a familiar, sad story, but never quite like this. Karen and Nicky end up prospering in SoHo with their popular coffee shop, only to find that the Rockwellian existence they dreamed of could be destroyed by an interloper from Hollywood. Young Sherry and Ben struggle in the world of modern love, where logic and lessons from history are easily misplaced and replaced. Dissolution is an insider’s fictional presentation, based on years of real oral history; the stark realism will leave you breathless. Despite its dark view of relationships, the crisp dialogue and offbeat characters guarantee that you will enjoy the ride.
Mickey Cohen: The Gangster Squad and the Mob: The True Story of Vice in Los Angeles 1937-1950
Twenty-five-year-old Mickey traveled west with a man identified as Joe Gentile, a career player for Capone. The young entrepreneur and his older domo pal established a base of operations at a modest Los Angeles hotel. Under the watchful eye of Joe G., as some knew him, Mickey initially supported himself with heavy work, the usual stickup activity. He was happy to be back with his remaining family in Los Angeles, and enjoyed the southern California climate while adjusting to the rapidly changing city.
When he arrived, Los Angeles was still raw, and made for criminals. Helen Gahagan Douglas, a former actress and representative from Los Angeles’ Fourteenth District, knew the fragile landscape: “Frances Starr hadn’t exaggerated when she said that Hollywood Boulevard resembled a movie set built to collapse the moment the stage manager cried, ‘Strike it!’” The expansive locale was easy prey for Mickey and his East Coast contacts.
Los Angeles was a town without rules, where bookmakers operated in the open and slot machines were rampant. A recall ousted corrupt Mayor Frank Shaw; he was replaced with Judge Fletcher Bowron. Shaw, who had been in the supermarket business with his brother Joe, operated with the local Sicilians, who ran an unsophisticated yet controlling interest in the West.
Some, like singer Lorna’s father, producer Sid Luft, who favored a more provincial description of Los Angeles, were in denial about the criminal activities: “This was a very, very clean town. Nothing like Detroit or Chicago.”
In 1937, Los Angeles police squad cars responded to 83,315 calls that resulted in 17,529 arrests, too much for local jails. Sheriff Eugene “Gene” Biscailuz was pleased with his overcrowded operation at the Hall of Justice, and emphasized that any cook who worked for him had to be “proud of his [membership] card.” During this period, Biscailuz began a relationship as Mickey’s “father confessor.” Mickey frequently flashed his own miniature Highway Patrol badge, supplied by the sheriff.
Great White Doctor is an extraordinarily realistic account of celebrity doctors and their aberrant social lives. The extremely well-researched book is a fascinating peek into the strange world of upper echelon medical practice. Bradley Lewis worked in a New York City hospital for six years and writes from an insider’s perspective. Great White Doctor is a novel grounded in reality. It is a work of fiction missing from the literature of our modern era. The darkly realistic detail and medical panorama make Great White Doctor a powerful and compulsively readable novel. The book speaks to the heart of what is wrong with our health care system and the national broken paradigm by which it is administered. Anyone interested in his health care should read this book, especially women.
Late again. This early morning was no exception. Mike Nejad wanted to finish a letter he had postponed reading. He grabbed it from the black and white checked Formica breakfast table, left a FedEx mailer that he wanted to open later next to his laptop, and while on the run read the correspondence written in Farsi:
Our problems are but a grain of sand in a beach of larger prejudice. You have chosen to make your life in a country that has tried to no avail to correct its two-hundred-year old ethnic problems. My responsibility is to protect our three-thousand-year-old heritage. This goes beyond what happens in your country, and even in Iran. Recent focus on Iran by the world community is threatening the future of issues more important than any single person, religion, or country.
Oh, god! More platitudes. Mike hit his fist hard on the hall wall, nearly knocking a Leroy Nieman boxing portrait of Muhammad Ali off its supports. Owwuch! Mike had not seen his father for nearly twenty years; not even when he had been permitted entry into the United States for world meetings on bioterrorism. The periodic notes did little to comfort the relationship; Mike paid little attention to what he now saw as merely his father’s irritating political and religious grandstanding.
Naturally, Turner, Stompanato, and Mickey made headlines. Mickey would see her frequently when she dated Stompanato. She kept an arm’s-length relationship with him—at least that’s what she stated in her book. He knew everything that transpired between her and Stompanato and he believed that Stompanato really loved her, and was fond of her daughter, Cheryl Crane. Mickey once gave Stompanato $900 to buy a horse for Cheryl.Insiders knew the dark side of the relationship. Turner was an alcoholic who had a penchant for picking the wrong men; her romances and marriages came and went swiftly in the already fast-paced movie town. She would blame Mickey whenever Stompanato didn’t show up for a date. Many strongly felt that he was a behind-the-scenes puppeteer, and deftly pulled the strings on the celebrated couple.
Meet the Benningers, an unlikely wealthy couple in the midst of constant emotional chaos, who find themselves investigating the world of murder in opulent Coldwater Canyon, a mystery that takes them inside the darkness that can often pervade ‘Hollywood’ life. With the most unusual set of characters and a nod to the The Thin Man, Bradley Lewis takes us into the rich, dysfunctional, world of Beverly Hills, where Sheila Benniger’s pet schnoodle’s life is even in danger inside the disordered world. Sheila schleps around her husband, Dr. Brantley Benninger, the local root canal specialist, to help investigate her amateur sleuthing hunches. Like Nick and Nora Charles, the Benningers enjoy all the perks of wealth, such as country clubs and eating in the finest Hollywood and Beverly Hills chichi locations, but unfortunately too often with Sheila’s Borgia-like parents, the Stirlings. With the help of Irv-The-Shrink, the Bennigers manage to keep their marriage alive – and want to – especially since Sheila is trying to become pregnant. The perfect-imperfect couple, Sheila and Brantley are still in love, and their elegant condo provides refuge from the strange world that the Stirlings constantly try to invade. They enter the realm of macabre murders, toxic sushi poison, and police cover-ups. With lively dialogue and uniquely authentic settings, the author, a Beverly Hills resident for twenty-six years, demonstrates that he knows his subject from every angle, and exposes the extraordinary perverse insider details of wealthy families. The Benningers rub elbows with the rich and famous, while trying to solve what proves to be an off-beat, often funny, tale of mystery and socially-impaired Beverly Hills life.
Bradley Lewis delivers a high-stakes medical thriller with a plot that envelops consumer advocate Mark Einman in the often mysterious world of AIDS vaccine research. The nightmare begins when he receives his first anonymous threat the very day he visits Dr. Harry Ezralow, the world-renowned pediatric AIDS researcher. The hunt for information is on together with Mark’s politically and socially famous wife Allie, placing the Einman’s and their son Steven at mortal risk. The history of pediatric AIDS research is about to be rewritten, in a heart-stoppingly suspenseful story. Cul De Sac exposes the sometimes dark journey inside the complicated world of vaccine research, while digging deep into the myths across a political and business divide that at times is utterly alien to the people it purports to help. Cul De Sac is a work of magic that until now was missing from the literature of our generation, a medical thriller with an authentic Appendix that invites you inside a world that science has yet to conquer - a must for any reader of this genre.
At the age of - well, Dr. Louise Bradley wouldn’t say - she woke up in the back of a hideous Hummer limo, the kind used for pornos, proms, weddings, and bar mitzvahs. She had lost her temporary veneers and drooled on her Dolce and Gabbana turquoise silk blouse. She had no idea where the limo was taking her. Was that her mother in the front seat? Dr. Bradley could not remember how she got there. Yes, she drank, took drugs, had sex with many men, and shopped incessantly, but she knew that she wasn’t an addict. This is her account of her almost a week - maybe less - in a private rehab facility for the rich in Manhattan. Dr. Bradley’s book combines her intimate memoir with adequate psychology, since she prefers the medication prescribed by her psychiatrist as opposed to any long-term therapy. Dr. Bradley tries to understand the difference between falling in love and just becoming addicted to sex. She speaks freely about her obsession and how her Mommy betrayed her. Rather than explore the causes of multiple addictions, Dr. Bradley shows us how to avoid overtreatment and instead moving on with our lives, while exposing the mental health scams along the way. She hits on the importance of knowing when things are transient, and tells a powerful story in the process. Dr. Bradley remembers - as much as she can with sharp dialogue - of the stories she has to endure. While fact-checking proved to be an inconvenience, she strives to get to the truth, at least allowing herself a chance to remember. One Big Chunk is a fast-moving, wild, sexy, and fiercely powerful parody of what passes for a memoir - a hilarious satire that will simultaneously shock while offering a poignant exposé of our mental healthcare system, with a running commentary on the world of fashion.