Biography

by Bob Zmuda with Matthew Scott Hanson

Best known for his sweet-natured character Latka on Taxi, Andy Kaufman was the most influential comic of the generation that produced David Letterman, John Belushi, and Robin Williams. A regular on the early days of Saturday Night Live (where he regularly disrupted planned skits), Kaufman quickly became known for his idiosyncratic roles and for performances that crossed the boundaries of comedy, challenging expectations and shocking audiences. Kaufman's death from lung cancer at age 35 (he'd never smoked) stunned his fans and the comic community that had come to look to him as its lightning rod and standard bearer. Bob Zmuda, Kaufman's closest friend, producer, writer, and straight man, breaks his twenty-year silence about Kaufman and unmasks the man he knew better than anyone. He chronicles Kaufman's meteoric rise, the development of his extraordinary personas, the private man behind the driven actor and comedian, and answers the question most often asked: Did Andy Kaufman fake his own death?

by Paul Thomsen

After the phenomenal success of his first novel, Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier described his next novel as one based on the life of a white man who was made an Indian chief, fighting on the Southern side in the Civil War, and eventually wound up dying in a mental institution. His name was William Holland Thomas.

Thomas, a Southerner, has a story that embodies much of the dark side of the American dream in the 19th century. At an early age, he was adopted by a local Cherokee tribe. As the “frontier” moved farther west, he acted on behalf of the tribe in their negotiations with the U.S. government. Part Indian agent, part politician, he negotiated their treaties and was named a chief. During the Civil War, he organized them into a fierce counterinsurgent guerrilla band responsible for protecting the mountain passes of North Carolina from Union infiltration. As the government continued to debilitate the Indian nations, leaving the tribe no choice but to hold Thomas legally responsible, his own business holdings “went south”. Pressed by debts and personal hardships, he was committed to an asylum until his death years later.

by Clint Richmond

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

For millions of adoring fans, the shocking murder of 23-year-old Selena Quintanilla Perez cut short a brilliant music career. Selena was a Mexican-American Madonna without the scandals and the beloved Grammy Award-winning star of a family-run band. As sweet, sexy and upbeat as her songs, Selena quickly became the queen of Tejano, a modern, urban version of Tex-Mex accordion-based music called conjunto.

Selena's records and videos sold out nationwide within an hour of the bulletin announcing her death. But her fabulous music lives on, and with it, the promise of her loving spirit that was already uniting fans from every walk of life all over the nation.

by Jan Jarboe Russell

Long obscured by her husband's shadow, Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson emerges in this first comprehensive biography as a figure of surprising influence and the centering force of LBJ, a man who suffered from extreme mood swings and desperately needed someone to help control his darker impulses.

by George Anastasia

New York Times Bestseller

For 35 years, Ron Previte roamed the underworld. A six-foot, 300-pound capo in the Philadelphia-South Jersey crime family, he ran every mob scam and gambit from drug trafficking, prostitution, and extortion to flimflams that cost an Atlantic City casino millions. By the 1990s, Previte, an old-school workhorse, found himself answering to younger mob bosses like "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who seemed increasingly spoiled, cocky and careless. Convinced that the honor of the "business" was gone, he became the FBI's secret weapon in an intense and highly personalized war on the Philadelphia mob.

As a cop, he was corrupt; as a mobster, he was brutal. Yet as a confidential informant to the FBI, Previte was deadly. The Last Gangster is the story of his life, of the last days of the Philadelphia mob, and of the clash of generations that brought it down once and for all. Drawing on the words of mobsters themselves, George Anastasia tells Previte's story for the first time. Unflinching and enthralling, The Last Gangster is the true story of how the once monolithic, highly organized, powerful and secretive mob was defeated by its own hand.

by Simon Crittle

Joseph Massino was the ultimate Don.

As head of the Bonanno crime family, Joseph Massino was smart, cautious and treacherous. He ran a nice side business out of his New York City restaurant. The Feds say it included extortion, loan sharking, gambling, narcotics and murder - a criminal empire that had its root back in the Sicilian motherland. Massino was definitely big time.

He honored the classic code - of trust, loyalty, silence. Until he was indicted for murder...

The last Five Family Don in operation, he was taken down in 2004 for seven brutal murders. Only then did he agree to wear a wire to slip his way out of the death penalty. News of his cooperation sent waves of panic throughout the underworld and once again made him the most feared mobster alive. And the very first New York boss to break the American Mafia’s 100-year-old vow of silence.

It would become one of the most explosive, important, and historic courtroom dramas in criminal history. This revealing book tells the story - and gives a look inside a world of organized crime that we may never see again.