Augies Secrets

Augies Secrets➳ [Reading] ➶ Augies Secrets By Neal Karlen ➩ –  There’s an old Yiddish saying two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead But two living people could keep a secret—as long as one of them was AugieAugie Ratner the proprietor of Augie  There’s an old Yiddish saying two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead But two living people could keep a secret—as long as one of them was AugieAugie Ratner the proprietor of Augie’s Theater Lounge Bar on Hennepin Avenue was the unofficial mayor of Minneapolis’s downtown strip in the s and ’s In a few blocks between the swanky clubs and restaurants on Eighth Street and the sleazy flophouses and bars of the Gateway District the city’s shakers and movers and shake down artists mingled Gangsters and celebrities comedians and politicians the rich and the famous and the infamous—all of them met at Augie’s Jimmy Hoffa Henny Youngman Kid Cann John Dillinger Jack Dempsey Peggy Lee Groucho Marx Lenny Bruce and Gypsy Rose Lee Augie Ratner knew everyone and everyone knew and liked Augie and they told him everythingMixing careful research with long suppressed family and community stories Neal Karlen Augie’s great nephew tells the real story of the seamy underside of Minneapolis where Jewish mobsters controlled the liuor trade invented the point spread in sports betting and ran national sports gambling operations Even after Mayor Hubert H Humphrey supposedly cleaned up the town organized crime uietly flourished And Augie was at the center observing it allNeal Karlen who has written for the New York Times Newsweek and Rolling Stone is the author or co author of six books. I am always very interested in prohibition history the 20's30's Public Enemy era gangsters and Minnesota history So I was excited when my brother told me to read Augie's Secrets by Neal Karlen However I felt really bad when I had to tell my brother how awful it wasThis book about Augie a gangster from Minneapolis is just the ramblings of a relative of Augie who has no cohesive story telling ability It's like a bunch of name dropping and random facts and stories haphazardly thrown together and published It doesn't follow any kind of formula and is FULL TO THE BRIM of Jewish slang which is charming at first and then becomes horribly repetitive and annoyingBeing a Minnesotan I did enjoy a couple of the stories and when places were mentioned that I recognized or have been to However the randomness and Jewish slang and lack of actual story caused me to lose interest and found myself constantly entering skimming modeI've read a lot of reviews and it seems like most other readers agree with me Being a fan of history is one thing but all stories need flow and this one lacked that majorlyI'm sure there are better MN gangster history books out there I just need to know where to find a good one Any recommendations anyone? I was really looking forward to this book as I am very interested in the history of the mob in the Twin Cities It is supposed to be a chronicle of the secrets held by the author's great uncle Augie Ratner who ran a number of speakeasies bars and strip club on Minneapolis' Hennepin Avenue and knew all the colorful players in the local syndicate Unfortunately as author Neal Karlen points out early on Augie kept his secrets to himself so there is precious little of Augie himself in the book Karlen does share some fascinating stories about the largely Jewish mobsters who ran the bootlegging gambling and prostitution businesses in Minneapolis and the politician whom they bought off in order to conduct that business But this book could have used a real editor There is no focus to any one chapter Karlen seems to skip around at random interrupting an interesting train of thought for some unrelated but often interesting tidbit and he repeats the same thoughts three and four times It's a slim volume 178 pages of actual text and it would be much thinner without the recapitulations Karlen claims to have be thinking about and working on the book for years before getting the Minnesota Historical Society Press to take it for publication but it's hard to discern that from reading it It seems hastily thrown together without a clear plangoal in mind More like 25 stars actuallya uick read for those interested in the history of Minneapolis specifically the background of some if its' less savory characters Be aware though that the title is misleading in that there are actually no secrets to be found within the pages Nearly all of the information you'll read here has been related in previous publications but that doesn't spoil the entertainment of discovering a small portion of the colorful criminally checkered past of Minneapolis and to an extent St Paul as well The true stories tall tales facts and figures those both known and speculative historical dates and even a few apocryphal accounts shared among that crowd during those days have found their way into the pages hereThe book is generally chronologically ordered but as some other reviewers have noted the author has a tendency to loop back to previously mentioned bits and that repetitiveness bogs it down unnecessarily Definitely deserves kudos though both for footnotes and sourcing the material present here There are sections for Notes Bibliography and an Index in the back of the book as wellNOTE another reviewer here stated that the author used Susan Berman's book 'Easy Street' as source material without acknowledgement That book is listed in the Bibliography and also appears freuently in the Notes section as well which details the footnotes in each chapter Finally put a stop at page 128 This book is horrible The author insists on using Yiddish German words wherever he sees fit and it totally takes you out of the reading experience If I want to learn either of those languages I'm not going to do it by reading this book so knock it off He also jumps around A lot He'll mention an event and say something like but I'll come back to that later and then never does Finally whatever Augie's secrets were they are not in this book Sure it's a small piece of history of Minneapolis but I don't think there's anything here that couldn't be found our from another source disclaimer I haven't read much if anything on Minneapolis history so I could be wrong but I don't think I am and certainly nothing that would be worthy of being called a 'secret' I think the author was so enamoured by the fact that one of his past relatives possibly hung out with celebrities and gangsters made him think that just that fact would make for an interesting read It doesn't I'm glad I got this from the library and did not purchase It literally reads like a first draft full of awkward rambling sentences and repititions and so much filler do we need to be told TWICE that Neal Karlen once lived in John Dillinger's former apartment? I love reading about old Minneapolis in the pre urban renewal Gateway District days but somehow Neal Karlen manages to make a tale about the mob strip clubs gambling and vice into an incoherent snooze Augie Ratner deserves better And I know Neal Karlen is a better writer than this Enjoyed the local mob history as a Minneapolis resident but the book was repetitive and didn't really have secrets to tell Still a uick read with some fun local color It's OK if you want to learn about the mob in Minneapolis and St Paul As a first generation Minnesotan who shares a last name with Minnesota's most notorious Jewish gangster when I first caught wind of this book my desire to read it was off the charts It didn't meet my expectations due to complete lack of flow and narrative Writing is fine but it has little semblance of a book Karlen is still making introductory comments several chapters in The chapters are in essence stand alone stories that would be reasonably interesting in local magazines but put together under the same cover they made no sense Some passages I swear I read over and over Augie's role in all this was poorly defined He wasn't properly established as a player a confidant a gossip Not a complete loss because the true crime subject matter is so interesting but given Neal Karlen's and the publisher's reputuation I expected something coherent and better edited Minneapolis is a city shaped by conmen From the days when we elected Doc Ames as mayor to being conned out of our streetcars by Kid Cann and Associates all the way up to the RT RybakZiggy Wilf collusion we have a long history of falling for all sorts of shams Organized crime played a part sometimes and sometimes it didn't Either way the subject matter is interesting even if only to a rather limited readership Unfortunately reading Augie's Secrets is like listening to an old man talk sometimes there's a morsel of something interesting but you have to go through a lot of rambling and nonsense There's something odd about Karlen's style in this book It doesn't flow and it wanders on and off subject Had want to read this book for awhile now as I'm really interested in history as well as MobMafia related history This book details some of the life of Minneapolis' own Augie Ratner Augie opened up his own speakeasy and was really adored by the people and gang members that were patrons of it Augie was well liked and trusted which allowed him to maintain this business During those times he encountered some of the most dangerous men in the business but went unscathed again because he could be trusted Being from Minnesota I enjoyed reading about Augie and the mob history here in the Twin Cities but you don't have to be from here to enjoy this one I definitely recommend this one

Augies Secrets PDF/EPUB ¿ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 232 pages
  • Augies Secrets
  • Neal Karlen
  • English
  • 26 August 2014
  • 9780873518895