Portfolio Category: Books

Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip

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 Augie. Augie Ratner, the proprietor of Augie's Theater Lounge & Bar on Hennepin Avenue, was the unofficial mayor of Minneapolis's downtown strip in the…

The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-Mosh of Languages Saved the Jews

Yiddish—an oft-considered "gutter" language—is an unlikely survivor of the ages, much like the Jews themselves. Its survival has been an incredible journey, especially considering how often Jews have tried to kill it themselves. Underlying Neal Karlen's unique, brashly entertaining, yet thoroughly researched telling of the language's story is the notion that Yiddish is a mirror…

Shanda: The Making and Breaking of a Self-Loathing Jew

Neal Karlen describes the rejection and subsequent embrace of the Jewish faith, remembering his childhood as the son of Orthodox parents, the self-loathing that changed his spiritual perspective, and his participation in devotional studies. Buy Shanda: The Making of a Self-Loathing Jew.