Episode 15: Sinatra, Israel, and a Bag Full of Cash

Host Dan Crane tells the story of two strangers in the night, a bag full of cash, and a ship full of weapons bound for the fledgling state of Israel, in this special episode dedicated to Frank Sinatra’s jewish activism. Guests: Anthony Summers, David Lehman, Shalom Goldman, Paul Karolyi, and Tony Michaels.

videos mentioned IN THIS EPISODE:

Who's in this episode?

Anthony Summers 

Pulitzer Prize nominated author Anthony Summers has covered many of the pivotal stories of the past hundred years, and in many cases forced a rethink. 

He has reported on the conflict in the Middle East; the Vietnam War; the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations; Watergate;  the rise and fall of the American Mafia; the Hiss and Profumo espionage cases; and 9/11. He has explored the lives and deaths of the powerful and the famous: from Tsar Nicholas II to Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon. In 2011, his book The Eleventh Day brought the sharpest focus yet to a full account of 9/11,  the events that led up to it, and the troubling questions that remain. It was a Finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.

His latest book, “A Matter of Honor"  published by Harper Collins, is tied to the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. It tells the incredible story of Admiral Kimmel who was scapegoated for the disaster while the top brass in Washington - much more guilty of failure - got off scot-free.

David Lehman

David Lehman is a poet, writer, and editor. Among his recent books, "Sinatra's Century" is now in paperback (HarperCollins) and "Poems in the Manner Of" is forthcoming from Scribner in March 2017.

Shalom Goldman 

Shalom Goldman is a Professor of Religion at Middlebury College. He is currently writing a biography of Leopold Weiss/Muhammad Asad.

Paul Karolyi

Paul Karolyi (@paulkarolyi) is a freelance writer and radio producer. He hosts and produces Changing Denver, a monthly podcast about Denver's neighborhoods and other made spaces. He also manages the Institute for Palestine Studies' Congressional Monitor database, writes quarterly updates on conflict and diplomacy for the institute's Journal of Palestine Studies, and reports on business news for Crain's Denver.

Tony Michaels

Tony Michaels is the George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research and teaching interests include American Jewish history, Yiddish culture, Russian Jewish history, socialism, working-class history, and nationalism.


Host: Dan Crane

Dan Crane (@dancranehere) is a writer, musician, Jew (lax, loves lox) and professional air-guitarist. He’s the author of To Air is Human and stars in the documentary, Air Guitar Nation. He writes about culture and travel for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, California Sunday, Slate, and numerous other publications. When he’s not writing, or hosting air guitar championships at home and abroad, he plays “there” guitar in various bands including Nous Non Plus and Ray & Remora

The Kibitz theme is courtesy of Nous Non Plus. 





Additional music courtesy of Latché Swing under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 France License. The U.S. Army Blues band, Live At Blues Alley by U.S. Army Blues is licensed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License.

This podcast is sponsored by the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies.