The Secret Parts of Fortune: Three Decades of Intense Investigations and Edgy Enthusiasms

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HarperCollins, Jun 19, 2001 - Literary Collections - 848 pages
3 Reviews

One part intellectual and one part private eye, Ron Rosenbaum takes readers into "the secret parts" of the great mysteries, controversies, and enigmas of our time, including:

  • the occult rituals of Skull and Bones, the legendary Yale secret society that has produced spies and presidents, including George Bush and George W. Bush.

  • the Secrets of the Little Blue Box, the classic story of "Captain Crunch" and the birth of hacker culture.

  • the "unorthodox" cancer-cure clinics of Tijuana.

  • the Great Ivy League Nude Posture Photo Scandal.

  • the unsolved murder of JFK's mistress.

Also including sharp, funny cultural critiques that range from Elvis to Elisabeth KÜbler-Ross, Bill Gates to Oliver Stone, and J.D. Salinger to the Zagat® guide, The Secret Parts of Fortune is a vital record of American culture.

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Review: The Secret Parts of Fortune: Three Decades of Intense Investigations and Edgy Enthusiasms

User Review  - Diann Blakely - Goodreads

The Dixie Chicks are among Ron Rosenbaum's passions, joining an extended circle that includes Shakespeare, about whom the New York cultural critic writes better and more deeply than any living ... Read full review

Review: The Secret Parts of Fortune: Three Decades of Intense Investigations and Edgy Enthusiasms

User Review  - HHS Staff - Goodreads

It's hard for me to imagine an essay collection that is as thought-provoking, pleasurable, and varied (in equal proportions) as this one. Rosenbaum is a "buff buff"; in other words, he's fascinated by ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Ron Rosenbaum grew up on Long Island, New York. A graduate of Yale with a degree in English literature, he left Yale Graduate School to write full-time. His essays and journalism have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker; he's done eight cover stories for the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of four previous books, including one novel and three collections of his essays and journalism, most recently Travels with Dr Death and Other Unusual Investigations.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and historian Thomas Powers called him "one of the few distinctive voices of modern American literary journalism." His work has been characterized by the essayist Phillip Lopate as combining "the skills of a terrific investigative reporter and an accomplished literary stylist with an idiosyncratic streak all his own."

More than ten years ago, he began investigating certain unresolved controversies among Hitler biographers, and ultimately embarked on an odyssey that took him from Vienna and Munich to London, Paris, and Jerusalem. The book that emerged combines original research and dramatic face-to-face encounters with historians, philosophers, psychologists, and theologians as they attempt to account for the elusive figure of Adolf Hitler and the meanings projected upon him by his explainers.

Currently Ron Rosenbaum writes for the New York Times Magazine, and The New York Observer, and teaches a course on literary journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of journalism.

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