My latest nonfiction is a self-published selection of posts from this blog: No Place for Normal: New York / Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015). Subjects covered include alcoholics, abortionists, grave robbers, Occupy Wall Street, the Gay Pride Parade, peyote visions, an early feminist whose enemies called her "Mrs. Satan," spooks and ghouls, near-death experiences, and an artist who made art out of a blood-filled squirt gun and a blackened human toe. It is a celebration of this wild, unpredictable, sometimes maddening, but always fascinating city of New York. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
My lifelong interest in history led me to write biographies of two once renowned
but now almost forgotten figures in nineteenth-century New York.
The Money Game in Old New York: Daniel Drew and His Times (University Press of Kentucky, 1986) is an account of Daniel Drew, a farmer turned cattle drover turned steamboat operator who went on to become the wiliest operator on Wall Street, where his homespun ways won him the name Uncle Daniel. Allied with Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, he fought Commodore Vanderbilt, a titan of finance, for control of the Erie Railway and clipped the redoubtable Commodore for some two million dollars.
The Wickedest Woman in New York: Madame Restell, the Abortionist (Archon Books, 1988) tells the story of Ann Lohman, an English immigrant who under the assumed name Madame Restell became the city’s most notorious abortionist, shocking respectable citizens by parading about in sumptuous finery – evidence of her ill-gotten gains – and then building a palatial mansion on the Fifth Avenue, in the city’s most fashionable and exclusive residential district. When finally arrested by Anthony Comstock, the founder of the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice, she went out with a bang.
I am also the author of André Breton: Arbiter of Surrealism (Librairie Droz, 1967), a critical study of the French poet who dominated the Surrealist movement in France between the two World Wars. It was perhaps the first full-length study of Breton in English.
The two biographies are now out of print but available used at varying prices online. They can also be found in reference libraries. The Breton book is also available online.