Bintel Blog

Noble Titles Back in Print

By Ezra Glinter

  • Print
  • Share Share

Back when Jewish clarinetists such as Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw were becoming giants of the swing era, their lesser-known co-religionist Mezz Mezzrow (born Milton Mesirow), was honing his own reputation as a gadabout session player and producer with the likes of Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.

Mezzrow was celebrated as a marijuana supplier as he was a musician —and quality pot was sometimes called “Mezz” in his honor. His 1946 autobiography, “Really the Blues,” co-written with science fiction author and one-time Trotsky secretary and bodyguard Bernard Wolfe, is one of the most colorful accounts of the 1920s jazz world.

That such a book could fall out of print in the first place is tragic, but at least “Really the Blues” has now been republished by the new Barnes & Noble Rediscovers series.

In addition to “Really the Blues,” the imprint, which counts 33 titles so far, also features books of more overtly Jewish interest. The series also includes Abraham Joshua Heschel’s 1935 treatise “Maimonides,” Isaac Rosenfeld’s short story collection “Alpha and Omega” and, most notably, Ronald Sanders’s “The Downtown Jews,” which is essentially a biography of legendary Forward editor Abraham Cahan, and which is back in print for the first time since 1987. Just in time for the 2010 sesquicentennial of Cahan’s birth.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Abraham Cahan, Mezz Mezzrow



Find us on Facebook!
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.