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3,9 von 5 Sternen
3,9 von 5 Sternen

am 29. Januar 2000
This book can be viewed in two ways:
1) As a straightforward biography of Sinatra
2) As a chronicle of the history of discrimination against Italian Americans, and the myths and half-truths that have been advanced in the name of "Diversity."
Pete Hamill does a great job of telling the story of Italian Americans though the triumphs and tragedies of Frank Sinatra's life.
Sinatra was a great supporter of civil rights for minorities, primarily because he had felt the sting of discrimination as an Italian American. Hamill explains that Sinatra always identified with the underdog. But Sinatra's life also stands for the principle that while one shouldn't kick someone when they're down, you should still defend yourself from being kicked.
This book is a great read, and provides further evidence that the premise for the "diversity" movement and affirmative action is a deceptive sham. Hamill documents the lynching of Italians in New Orleans and the epithets hurled at them even from the likes of American "heroes" such as Teddy Roosevelt. It's outrageous that some oppressed groups (Jews, Italians, Irish, eastern European "whites," , etc.) were redefined as oppressors during the American Civil Rights Movement. Perhaps this book will help hasten then end of affirmative action.
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am 8. Oktober 1998
I am the eleventh of twelve kids. I am 42, and come out of Brooklyn. I have walked the streets of Hoboken. It reminds me of Bay Ridge, but the Statue of Liberty is facing the other way, and the Twin Towers are so big and close. My father had a bar in Brooklyn: a place that catered to the lonely: longshoreman who didn't want to go home for whatever reasons, older women who were jilted by the latest bum. They drank, a concordat of losers. In silence, they smoked unfiltered cigarettes and listened to that guy on the jukebox. The guy who really felt their pain, decades before it became some rank political joke. The voice was Frank Sinatra's, and he was my hero since I could walk. Pete Hamill, whom I've been reading for over twenty-five years, has the lapidary's eye, the poet's words, in his brilliant analysis of Sinatra the man, and what his essence really meant. Speaking of Sinatra after his death, Hamill writes: "Now Sinatra is gone, taking with him all his anger, cruelty, generosity, and personal style. The music remains. In times to come, that music will continue to matter, whatever happens to our evolving popular culture. The world of my grand-children will not listen to Sinatra in the way four generations of Americans have listened to him. But high art always survives. Long after his death, Charlie Parker still plays his version of the urban blues, Billie Hoilday still whispers her anguish. Mozart still erupts in joy.....In their ultimate triumph over the banality of death, such artists continue to matter. So will Frank Sinatra." This slim volume is the best thing I've read about Sinatra. Hamill hides no blemishes, and still gives us a totality of the man that no other biographer could. Alas, most great singers and writers now repose on the other side of the grass. We no longer have Sinatra in the flesh, yet, through his music, he will outlive everyone. And in the year 2067, a young adult will listen to the unparalleled majesty of his voice for the first time, and then go to the library to read WHY SINATRA MATTERS by Pete Hamill to make some sense of it all. KEVIN FARRELL
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am 13. September 1999
I purchased this book fully knowing what the title proposes. We all know it's the music. I give it four stars because it's about FAS and written by someone who knew and liked him, although it strays a bit from what is a great premise. It's also quite honestly a classy *looking* little volume. The cover won me over as much as the title. Are there design awards for these things? It's been sitting on top of my collection of Sinatra books for a couple of months since I was savoring it, waiting for just the right time and mood to read it in one sitting. It's definately a book for the true fan to have (after I secured my own copy I got 2 others from friends who know my love for anything Frank). I ate up every quote from Frank in the book, and the author's accounts of personal meetings with the man. It seemed to me the author showed us this could have been a much more detailed and thorough biography in the making. At times I felt I could have been in the middle of the most comprehensive account of the singers life and history of the 20th century, and not just reading an essay about why he matters. I was not turned off by this. I just got a good reading on his "times" that I enjoyed but wasn't counting on it. What is in here about Frank is important enough to read whatever some people may think is not relavant. Frank is important enough to music and this country to write about anything connected to him. It is a good read, written and packaged with class by a good writter who knows his subject. Incidently, Hamill is the type of guy that the Sinatra children should seek out next time they need a good contributor to balance out any new cd releases liner notes. I cringed when I saw the intro on the '57 In Concert cd by Kelsy Gramer. Those of you who have it know what I mean. *Any* work put out there about Frank deserves class...
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What Pete Hamill wrote in 180 pages could have condensed into about 10 pages. I got this book hoping to find out more about why Frank Sinatra matters. Rather than give the reader definite examples and then elaborate on them, Mr. Hamill gives a shallow biography that could be read in a number of other biographies. What, for example, does his mother's political connections have to do with why Sinatra matters? Neither do the accounts of his adolescent years nor his association with the mob have anything really to do about why he matters. The only thing that really matters about Frank Sinatra, which the author could have said in one chapter (one chapter being the entire book) is that he knew how to deliver a song, be it a ballad, up-tempo or Latin. He was the Master when it came to breath control and pronunciation and singing on key. And he wasn't a bad actor either. To put it in a nutshell, Sinatra matters because of his music.....nothing else. He will be remembered for for the hundreds (or is it thousands) of songs he sang and recorded and for being a showman. In 50 years, they will still be playing his songs as we have enjoyed hearing them for the past 60 years.
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am 5. Januar 1999
I am a Sinatra fan (not a fanatic) and found this tiny book worthwhile for its insights into Sinatra's voice and career, and for the quotes from the man himself sprinkled throughout. But the writing is awful. This is the first Pete Hamill book I've read, and it makes me wonder what all the fuss is about. His style is, by turns, repetitive, gassy and tin-eared.
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am 7. Oktober 1998
A masterpiece. I never met Sinatra but he gave my a lot of action for a lot of years. I listened to him when I was in high school and I'm still with the man. Hammil's book put Sinarta closer. He (Sintra) was in my heart and soul and now he is in my mind. Hammil has brought those Sinatra years in America to life. What a beautiful eulogy!
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am 24. Februar 1999
Hamill has a true talent for identifying and decsribing the American ethnic experience. He combines this with frank personal insights in a illuminating and entertaining book about a tremendous figure. The only problem was the second half of the book was lost on the way to the publishers and thus never made into print!
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am 14. Dezember 1999
This was a lovely little book, and far more complex than I would have thought. I particularly enjoyed the emphasis on the Italian experience earlier in American's history, and how Frank was so much a product of that. It actually changed some of my (negative) thoughts about a man whose music I adore.
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am 10. Januar 1999
Seems to me that this small book contains the very essence of the man that was Sinatra. The author has honored his memory by presenting the facts as he witnessed them; all the while he subtly encourages us to listen to the music more. Arrivederci, Frank, and Grazie, Mr. Hamill.
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am 31. Januar 1999
but i had two problems with it: 1) far too short; and 2) it glossed over latter part of his career.
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