Button Man

BUTTON MAN                                                 ANDREW GROSS

Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabinowitz grew up poor but happy in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris apprenticed himself at twelve years old to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to college and became an accountant; and Harry, the youngest, fell in with a gang as a teenager and can’t escape. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory until he’s running the place and buys out the owner, and Sol comes to work with him. But Harry can’t be lured away from the glamour, the power, and the money that comes from working for mobster Louis Buchalter, an old bully from the neighborhood. And when Louis sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers’ factories, a fatal showdown is inevitable, and puts brother against brother.


A story that was based on the authors’ grandfather and really could be anyone’s family who migrated to the U.S. and ended up in New York. Here you have a Jewish the Rabinowitz who is struggling like everyone else in the 20’s and 30’. Their struggle is deepened by the loss of their father in a fire and a brother in an accident in front of their apartment. Now Morris the younger brother leaves school and begins work with a clothing or garment factory. There he is taken in by the owner and his wife who help him learn the trade and are surprised by his natural talent. Sol the oldest brother becomes an accountant, and Harry the youngest who is tormented by the death of his twin turns to the underworld, but just the fringes. Now as you go through Morris has an opportunity to buy a and own his own garment factory and does so with his brother Sol. Harry meanwhile continues to struggle in finding his place. You are taken from the very highs of marriages, births of children expanding of business and also the time in New York when the mob was making its presence felt through strikes and strong-arm tactics with businesses. Morris and Sol finally have come under the when they took in Harry and now lost everything because of a fire. Morris is devastated and takes it out on Harry and it is not until he is killed and Morris is asked to come to prison to speak to his childhood friend Lepke that he finds out more and makes peace too late. A story that could be told by anyone from that period the author brings you back in time with words and brought me back to the stories of my father growing up in New York working in a shop sewing men’s hats, and also living in an orphanage. So this story made me think back to him and my family. A wonderful story. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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