Saturday, July 19, 2014

Go Through Those Boxes More Than Once: Abe the Newsboy

I successfully threw out a political pamphlet in the last post to this blog.  Now I'm hesitating over getting rid of a book.  It's full title:  Life Story of Abe the Newsboy, Hero of a Thousand Fights.

This is apparently a vaguely historical book, and you know that I have a weakness for the vaguely historical.  It's an autobiography of a Navy boxer and it has pictures of Presidents in it.  It was also self published, which usually didn't work out that well, back in the day.  Did I hear you ask which day?

Looks like the first edition was in 1930.  That would be the year my Dad was born.  This is my Grandma's copy, which she obviously bought after 1960.  She had a thing for sailors.  She married . . . .  Well, let's just say that Dad's dad was a sailor when they were first married.  So it fits in with family history.

I've looked it up online, and the book is referred to as "important".  It's also called one of the first memoirs, which is a crock, and the exact same wording has spread to many internet sites.

It sells for as little as $2.49, plus shipping, and can be downloaded for free in PDF, ePUB, or mp3 from a place called bookalist.  It downloads as a passworded file, then you have to log onto another site and download the password.  That's where I got cautious.  So I can't tell you if the site is fishy or not.  Can anyone vouch that this is a safe site?

I can't find a review of it online, although it is on the recommended reading list at  Amazon has a bunch of consignment copies for sale, but, again, no review.  The first few sentences were very 1930's sincere.  Part of me wants to read it just to write the review.  The rest of me knows that I have many more important things that I'm behind on.  

Oh, man.  Someone presented a paper on it.  Mangun, Kimberley. “Abe ‘the Newsboy’ Hollandersky: Self-Promotion and the Hero Myth in Newspaper Coverage of the Jewish Boxer.” Paper presented at the American Journalism Historians Association National Conference, New Orleans, September 2013.

Sigh.  It's starting to look like it's going to end up back in the box.  My only excuse is that I can use it as a prop to talk about those relative that have gone before us.  If I actually manage to get it out of the house (or to post a review), I'll post it here.  

[ETA:  To make up for my indecision regarding Abe, I've tossed The Salem Frigate by John Jennings.  It's listed as an adventure romance and you can get it for $0.13 on Amazon.]