American Legends Book Store

The Scream of the Butterfly

Scream of the Butterfly
by Ron Martinetti

An elegy for Jim Morrison by Ron Martinetti, author of The James Dean Story. American Legends Publishing, 15 pg. $1.00


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The Uncommon Friendship of Yaltah Menuhin & Willa Cather

The Uncommon Friendship of Yaltah Menuhin & Willa Cather
by Lionel Rolfe

The Menuhins were one of America's great musical families whose close friendship with Willa Cather, the author of Death Comes for the Archbishop and other classics, is now recounted by Lionel Rolfe. The Menuhin siblings included brother Yehudi, the great violinist, and sister Yaltah whom some believed the most talented but whose fear of touring hindered her career. A noted Los Angeles journalist, Rolfe lays bare his mother, Yalth's, close relationship with Willa, along with a family tale of genius and eccentricity, amid the backdrop of London and New York, where the Menuhin's paths intersected with the gifted and strangely reclusive novelist. American Legends Publishing. 164 pg. $1.00


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The Uncommon Friendship of Yaltah Menuhin & Willa Cather

Wild Ones: Natalie Jackson & The Usual Suspects
by Jonah Raskin

Neal Cassady was the central figure in the Beat Generation--the hero of  On the Road and the Adonis of Denver, as Jack Kerouac called him; and Natalie Jackson was his lady--or one of them anyway. She was a Kerouac character in  Dharma Bums, and Natalie's death in a rooftop accident or suicide has long been a mystery. Now Beat scholar Jonah Raskin sheds new light on Natalie Jackson's shadowy life and death in San Francisco of the early 1950s. American Legends Publishing, 30 pg. Illustrations, $1.00

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The Secret Life of Walter Winchell

The Secret Life of Walter Winchell
by Lyle Stuart

Ours is an evanescent age, and among the vanished are newspaper columnists who have migrated to the Internet where they blog, often it seems to an audience of one. Yet, there was a time when newspaper columnists reached millions and shaped public taste with the tap of a typewriter key. For a time, the King of Columnists was Walter Winchell (1897-1972) of the New York Daily Mirror who boasted: "Other columnists may print it--I make it public." And so he did, in short bursts of tommy gun prose that drew from the argot of Broadway, the underworld, and the prize ring. "I really gave it to that bum," Winchell would boast, and it didn't matter if the victim was a Congressman, movie star, or fellow columnist with whom Walter carried on one of his legendary feuds. Among those he feuded with was the late Lyle Stuart--a crusading journalist whose classic 1953 biography shed light on Winchell's own world of showgirls and backroom favors (not to mention colossal inaccuracies) and helped lead to the columnist's downfall. American Legends Publishing, 154 pg. $1.00

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The Secret Life of Walter Winchell

The End Is the Beginning: Elegy for the Carnivorous Saint

The 1940s was the slick era of American Lit, typified by The New Yorker and its house critic, Edmund Wilson, who championed writers whose work was polished, Eliotified, and without a comma out of place. Overlooked by mainstream critics was a lively underground of writers and poets whose publishing house was a mimeograph machine and whose platform was the local coffee house. This generation of writers included Paul Goodman, Milt Klonsky, and Harold Norse (1916-2009). Born in Brooklyn, Norse was raised by a single mother who worked in a factory. His early poetry was marked by strong homoerotic themes. In 1953, he left America and lived in Paris where he became associated with William Burroughs and other members of the Beat Movement. After moving to San Francisco in the 1970s, he lived out his life writing poems in the lonely rooming houses of that city. "I want to shed light on what I am," he told editor Todd Swindell, "which is a gay man on the fringes of society." Swindell, a scholar of Norse and Beat writers, has collected poems and other tributes to Norse by Gerard Malanga, Neeli Cherkovski, Ira Cohen, among others. American Legends Publishing, 33 pg. Illustrated, $1.00

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Burning Down The House

Burning Down the House
Jack London and the 1913 Wolf House Fire

by Jonah Raskin


Jack London's life was the template upon which Twentieth Century novelists would measure themselves: adventurer, war correspondent, London wrote bestsellers like The Call of the Wild and The Sea-Wolf. In between, he managed to sail his own ketch to Tahiti and run for mayor of Oakland (as a socialist). Jonah Raskin has written an engrossing account of a mysterious fire that gutted the author's showplace hunting lodge--the Wolf House--whose ruins are still a tourist attraction in Glen Ellen that draws thousands every year. The fire left history asking: Who did it? The author? Reactionary neighbors? Or was it a tragic accident? Raskin's lively book will appeal to serious London fans or those who are new to the legendary author. American Legends Publishing, 28 pg. Illustrations, $1.00

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