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Walter Shapiro

Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer

Blue Rider Press

Journalist Walter Shapiro grew up listening to fantastical tales of his great uncle Freeman Bernstein, a Broadway character who earned his living on the fly in vaudeville and burlesque, usually outside the bounds of ethics and the law. Bernstein’s prize coup, however, was a bait-and-switch sale of junk metal to Reichsfuhrer Adolf Hitler, who thought he was buying nickel for his war machine. Whether it happened as Bernstein said or not is the subject of the book; at least, of the last quarter. The rest is a breezy, high-speed account of old-time show biz that should entertain American theater buffs.

– Bruce Collier
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