The Minuteman
In the early 1930’s, pro-Nazi groups began popping up across the US in an attempt to drum up support among recent immigrants for the fascist movement developing back home. With a large German population, Newark, New Jersey became a hotbed for this kind of Nazi recruitment, with pro-fascist groups like the German-American Bund staging parades, screening anti-Semitic films, and organizing boycotts of Jewish business and politicians through the city. But at the time, Newark was also the epicenter of the Jewish mob and Abner ‘Longie’ Zwillman, known as the “Al Capone of New Jersey,” who had made a fortune in gambling, bootlegging and racketeering and controlled the city’s ports and police force, helped organize a group of ex-boxers, factory workers and students to defend the city’s Jewish interests. The group dubbed themselves ‘The Minutemen’ - ready at a moment’s notice - and took to breaking up Nazi gatherings using a combination of stink bombs, baseball bats, lead pipes and brass knuckles.Greg Donahue’s The Minuteman, tells the story of one of Newark’s native sons; ex-prizefighter and longtime Zwillman enforcer Sidney Abramowitz, a.k.a. Nat Arno, who took over leadership of the Minutemen in 1934 and made it his personal business to put an end to what he saw as the Bund’s “anti-American” activities. For six years, Arno and his crew of vigilantes battled Newark’s Nazis at every turn. The Minuteman is a story of the ethics of violence in the face of fascism; a forgotten legacy that is as relevant now as it was nearly a hundred years ago.Photos included in cover art courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of NJ - Warren Grover Collection.

The Minuteman Details

TitleThe Minuteman
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2020
PublisherAudible Original
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Audiobook, Historical

The Minuteman Review

  • Mariah Roze
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really good story! They fit a lot into less than 2 hours. I honestly had no idea that there were Nazis in US. Definitely an eye-opener. "In the early 1930’s, pro-Nazi groups began popping up across the US in an attempt to drum up support among recent immigrants for the fascist movement developing back home. With a large German population, Newark, New Jersey became a hotbed for this kind of Nazi recruitment, with pro-fascist groups like the German-American Bund staging parades, This was a really good story! They fit a lot into less than 2 hours. I honestly had no idea that there were Nazis in US. Definitely an eye-opener. "In the early 1930’s, pro-Nazi groups began popping up across the US in an attempt to drum up support among recent immigrants for the fascist movement developing back home. With a large German population, Newark, New Jersey became a hotbed for this kind of Nazi recruitment, with pro-fascist groups like the German-American Bund staging parades, screening anti-Semitic films, and organizing boycotts of Jewish business and politicians through the city. But at the time, Newark was also the epicenter of the Jewish mob and Abner ‘Longie’ Zwillman, known as the “Al Capone of New Jersey,” who had made a fortune in gambling, bootlegging and racketeering and controlled the city’s ports and police force, helped organize a group of ex-boxers, factory workers and students to defend the city’s Jewish interests. The group dubbed themselves ‘The Minutemen’ - ready at a moment’s notice - and took to breaking up Nazi gatherings using a combination of stink bombs, baseball bats, lead pipes and brass knuckles.Greg Donahue’s The Minuteman, tells the story of one of Newark’s native sons; ex-prizefighter and longtime Zwillman enforcer Sidney Abramowitz, a.k.a. Nat Arno, who took over leadership of the Minutemen in 1934 and made it his personal business to put an end to what he saw as the Bund’s “anti-American” activities. For six years, Arno and his crew of vigilantes battled Newark’s Nazis at every turn. The Minuteman is a story of the ethics of violence in the face of fascism; a forgotten legacy that is as relevant now as it was nearly a hundred years ago."
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  • Joe Kraus
    January 1, 1970
    This one is so up my alley (or, as the case may be, down my dark alley) that I can’t be neutral about it.In this case, that’s a good thing. I could easily get irritated with someone who didn’t know what he was doing in narrating a history of a Jewish boxer/gangster who set out to attack Nazi Bundists in the 1930s. Instead, Greg Donahue does this with a real flair for narrative and without the can-you-believe-there-were-tough-Jews tone that many lesser writers might have brought.The result here This one is so up my alley (or, as the case may be, down my dark alley) that I can’t be neutral about it.In this case, that’s a good thing. I could easily get irritated with someone who didn’t know what he was doing in narrating a history of a Jewish boxer/gangster who set out to attack Nazi Bundists in the 1930s. Instead, Greg Donahue does this with a real flair for narrative and without the can-you-believe-there-were-tough-Jews tone that many lesser writers might have brought.The result here is the riveting story of Nat Arno, a Longy Zwillman tough guy charged with leading the Minutemen, a group of Jewish shtarkers who broke up Bund meetings throughout Newark, NJ and greater New York City area. The idea of such characters isn’t new – Robert Rockaway wrote about many of them from across the country in his But – He was Good to His Mother years ago. But this book (or long booklet) is a valuable addition to that history. I knew that Zwillman contributed a lot to anti-Bundist work, but I’d never heard of Arno, and I’d certainly never seen his story so focused.In addition to recounting a battle after battle chronicle of Arno’s life, Donahue raises some intriguing questions about the nature of Jewish self-defense. The nature of the story inclines him to see it as a good thing – he appreciatively quotes Jewish gangster authority Myron Sugarman saying that, if Jews had always defended themselves in such a way there’d be no anti-Semitism – but Donahue does raise the opposite perspective. There are many in the Jewish community who continue to believe that anti-anti-Semitic violence does more harm than good.In a compelling wrap-up, Donahue reflects on how long it took for the Jewish community to acknowledge Arno’s accomplishments, and he sees it as a reflection of the deep ambivalence about his approach.This one is short, probably too short to raise those larger questions in full, but it’s perhaps the finest I have read of the free books Audible gives out each month for members. An impressive job, and a good way to glimpse a larger history that I’ve worked to tell myself.
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    I was unaware of the story of Sidney Abramowitz, the leader of a Jewish group called the Minutemen who fought (literally) Nazis in Newark in the 1930s. In fact, I had no idea that there were so many home grown Nazis in the US pre-WWII. The Minutemen used force to break up Nazi gatherings. They were comprised of boxers, factory workers, students, and anyone else who wasn't afraid to pick up a bat and go after fascists. We think we live in dangerous times now - violence and brutality was more of a I was unaware of the story of Sidney Abramowitz, the leader of a Jewish group called the Minutemen who fought (literally) Nazis in Newark in the 1930s. In fact, I had no idea that there were so many home grown Nazis in the US pre-WWII. The Minutemen used force to break up Nazi gatherings. They were comprised of boxers, factory workers, students, and anyone else who wasn't afraid to pick up a bat and go after fascists. We think we live in dangerous times now - violence and brutality was more of a means to an end 80+ years ago. The author mentions Anitfa in this book to make a loose comparison. I don't agree that they are in the same category as the Minutemen.
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  • Nathan Burgoine
    January 1, 1970
    While it's always hard to say I "enjoyed" learning some new facet of how deep the roots of anti-Semitism and fascism and nazism went, I have to admit this story, which was about a man—and his organization—fighting nazi hatred every step of the way and succeeding in pushing it back and breaking down footholds and progress it had was inspiring and ultimately hopeful. I thank Nat Arno, not that he's alive to know it, and not that the thanks of some Brit-born Canuck would likely matter to him, but While it's always hard to say I "enjoyed" learning some new facet of how deep the roots of anti-Semitism and fascism and nazism went, I have to admit this story, which was about a man—and his organization—fighting nazi hatred every step of the way and succeeding in pushing it back and breaking down footholds and progress it had was inspiring and ultimately hopeful. I thank Nat Arno, not that he's alive to know it, and not that the thanks of some Brit-born Canuck would likely matter to him, but nevertheless. Standing up to those hates when the very systems are by design against you is never an easy task, but it's a just one, and I can only too easily imagine a contemporary Madison Square Garden, once again full of nazis, protected by the largest ring of New York police gathered in history since, well, the last time they did it.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Set in the pre-World War II Newark, New Jersey Jewish community, this story gives us a piece of history that is little known and underappreciated.This documents the fight between the Jewish community and The German American Bund and the Bund's attempt to bring Hitler's special kind of crazy to America. With the exception of Mr. Donahue's, comparison at the beginning of the book between The Minutemen and the modern-day group Antifa, a complete fallacy IMHO, I found it very well written and Set in the pre-World War II Newark, New Jersey Jewish community, this story gives us a piece of history that is little known and underappreciated.This documents the fight between the Jewish community and The German American Bund and the Bund's attempt to bring Hitler's special kind of crazy to America. With the exception of Mr. Donahue's, comparison at the beginning of the book between The Minutemen and the modern-day group Antifa, a complete fallacy IMHO, I found it very well written and informative. Unfortunately it was too short it did have a tendency to take on the aspect of a rushed term paper.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Short and sweet history of anti-Nazi efforts in the US, focusing on Nazi activity in New Jersey, with a good narrator. I had no idea the Nazi party was so well accepted in some parts of the US in the 1930s and I was glad to hear how much others fought against their incursion into American life.
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  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    This was a free (and quick) audible listen that turned out to be interesting. I had no idea there was such a strong pro-Nazi movement in the US during the 1930s! This story follows some of the Jewish gangsters in New Jersey, or Minutemen, who organized to breakup the pro-Nazi gatherings. The Minutemen stepped in where the law couldn't with everything from stink bombs to brass knuckles to stop what they saw as anti-American activities. What a great story!
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  • Lorraine
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars . I’m amazed how poorly this short nonfiction story did in the reviews. This free audiobook from Audible was very informative. I love learning new things in history and this audiobook was filled with new facts for me. This is a worthy listen! 3.5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️💫. I’m amazed how poorly this short nonfiction story did in the reviews. This free audiobook from Audible was very informative. I love learning new things in history and this audiobook was filled with new facts for me. This is a worthy listen!
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  • Alan Teder
    January 1, 1970
    Minutemen vs American Nazis in 1930's Newark, N.J.Review of the Audible Original audiobook (Jan. 2020)The most shocking element here isn't that there were American Jewish vigilantes in 1930's America prepared to fight Nazis, but that there was such a large American Nazi organisation that they could fill Madison Square Garden with a capacity of 20,000+ in 1939. The lead Minuteman, Nat Arno aka Sidney Nathaniel Abramowitz, seems to have been an obscure character in this history previously and even Minutemen vs American Nazis in 1930's Newark, N.J.Review of the Audible Original audiobook (Jan. 2020)The most shocking element here isn't that there were American Jewish vigilantes in 1930's America prepared to fight Nazis, but that there was such a large American Nazi organisation that they could fill Madison Square Garden with a capacity of 20,000+ in 1939. The lead Minuteman, Nat Arno aka Sidney Nathaniel Abramowitz, seems to have been an obscure character in this history previously and even his New Jersey boxing history biography is incorrect on various points. e.g. he couldn't have been working undercover for a non-existent 1930's OSS* (which wasn't formed until 1942). Greg Donahue has done an excellent job in collecting this history and the narration by Jonathan Davis was well done.The Minuteman was one of the free Audible Original audiobooks for members in January 2020. It is available to everyone for a standard price.Trivia and LinkThe February 20, 1939 German American Bund rally at Madison Square Garden was documented in a recent 7 minute short film "A Night at the Garden" (2017) dir. Marshall Curry, which can be seen on Vimeo.* that anecdotal boxing biography may of course have been based on stories from Nat Arno himself, who understandably would have found it more glamorous to say he worked for the precursor of the CIA rather than as an enforcer for Jewish gangsters.
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  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    I would probably go 2.5 stars. This is a great concept, with some great historical information that I had never heard. Feels like The Man in High Castle was almost an actual reality. There just needs to be more of a story here and not just historical facts listed and given. Great potential with not so great execution. If you love history, you should still check it out because it is very informative and won't take too much of your time.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know about the growth of the Nazi movement in New Jersey. The story was on point, moved quickly, and painted a picture of life in the 1930's with some eerily familiar parallels to life today. If you are interested in the lead up to WWII, this is a quick listen and offers some new perspectives.
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  • Amanda Sola
    January 1, 1970
    Free audible book. So boring I had a tough time focusing. It could be that I didn’t like the guy this book was about nor the actions of the minutemen so that could be the problem. But like A. The dude met his future wife when she was 8 and he told her to call him when she grew up. Ew. B. Let’s fight violence and hatred with violence? Great plan. Free audible book. So boring I had a tough time focusing. It could be that I didn’t like the guy this book was about nor the actions of the minutemen so that could be the problem. But like A. The dude met his future wife when she was 8 and he told her to call him when she grew up. Ew. B. Let’s fight violence and hatred with violence? Great plan. 🙄
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  • Carl
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting story on a Jewish vigilante group trying to make life miserable for Nazis in 1930's Newark. Street brawls, meetings trashed--quite an anti-fascist movement I was aware of the Madison Square Garden Nazi meeting; the build-up to that meeting is what this Audible original covers. Two hours . . . well worth it
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  • Jennifer Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Even though it’s a quick read, it was a waste of time. I didn’t learn anything new, nor was the story good enough to have entertainment value. Read like a long research paper (one where the writer kept adding fluff and skipping around to meet a certain page count). Bleh.
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  • Leo
    January 1, 1970
    Not much in it. Good voice actor though.
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting bit of history I was not previously familiar with, populated by a variety of thoroughly unpleasant characters.
  • Lucas Joanis
    January 1, 1970
    Punch a Nazi 2020
  • Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this, entertaining and informative.
  • Lisa Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Felt more like a textbook than an intriguing story. I might have enjoyed it more if it had been more developed.
  • Jami
    January 1, 1970
    This was a short audible original that was free this month. I never knew about the Jewish mafia in Newark or the story behind the group. This was an interesting overview.
  • Marissa Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating content but somehow it was a boring listen.
  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not going to recap this lesson because I think that everyone should listen and learn and learn from the past. Did you know how invasive the Nazis were in scamming German Americans into thinking that what they were doing was right? Or how much influence they had in New Jersey and other places? Or that there were family and youth camps here? The main focus is on one man who was quite a thug and even got himself sent to California by the local crime boss but was integral to the anti nazi I'm not going to recap this lesson because I think that everyone should listen and learn and learn from the past. Did you know how invasive the Nazis were in scamming German Americans into thinking that what they were doing was right? Or how much influence they had in New Jersey and other places? Or that there were family and youth camps here? The main focus is on one man who was quite a thug and even got himself sent to California by the local crime boss but was integral to the anti nazi movement.This was an Audible Original narrated exceptionally well by Jonathan Davis.
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  • Milda
    January 1, 1970
    My main question - does audible original count as a book? As per audible rules I could choose 2 originals, but none of them really interested me, so I decided to go with history. At least I would learn something new. I cannot tell much about this book, it did not raise my interest in the topic or the story itself. Just something I listened to while doing other stuff and probably will be forgotten soon. Neither good or bad. My main question - does audible original count as a book? 🤔As per audible rules I could choose 2 originals, but none of them really interested me, so I decided to go with history. At least I would learn something new. I cannot tell much about this book, it did not raise my interest in the topic or the story itself. Just something I listened to while doing other stuff and probably will be forgotten soon. Neither good or bad.
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  • Gregory D.
    January 1, 1970
    This is a short work that I think every American needs to be exposed to. In an era of "America First" slogans, identitarian marches, etc., it can be hard to decide what's "ultra conservative", what's "nationalist" and what is straight up fascism. This tale is a good reminder that this same debate was occurring in the 1930s and could have played out very differently.I learned a lot of things in this short narrative. I had no idea that Prohibition-era Newark was the home to a thriving community of This is a short work that I think every American needs to be exposed to. In an era of "America First" slogans, identitarian marches, etc., it can be hard to decide what's "ultra conservative", what's "nationalist" and what is straight up fascism. This tale is a good reminder that this same debate was occurring in the 1930s and could have played out very differently.I learned a lot of things in this short narrative. I had no idea that Prohibition-era Newark was the home to a thriving community of Jewish pro and semi-pro boxers, nor, that the Jewish mob (which I *did* know about) were essentially the rivals to Capone for the import of illegal alcohol into America, at one point probably controlling a third of the entire flow of booze in the country. I had never heard of Sidney Abramowitz, whose ring name was "Nat Arno", who, after realizing he wouldn't make the final cut as pro-boxer, became an enforcer for said mob.Why does that matter? Because Newark also was where a guy name Fritz Kuhn began coalescing what became the American German Bund (the literal, American Nazis), originally called the New Germany movement. Despite efforts at the time to color the New Germans as "cultural preservationists" and "a social club for celebrating heritage" -- up to and include arguments of the same on the floor by several prominent Republican Congressmen of the House of Representatives (sound familiar) the virulent anti-Semitism was crystal clear from day one, as were the direct ties to the Nazi regime in Germany, and the Bund spread with chapters across the country, opened youth camps (yes, modeled on the Nazi youth), and reached its height of power with the infamous gathering at Madison Square Garden in 1939, with alliances to many other white, nationalist movements such as the Christian Americans and the (original) America First. Besides the youth camps, the Bund was actively working to get members hired in various police agencies and elected to local office.But this tale focuses on the opposition. Nazis + Jewish boxer-gangsters = confrontation.Abramowitz/Arno, with the sponsorship of his crime boss, became the leader of a Jewish group called the Minutemen who fought (literally) Nazis in Newark through this entire period. For all practical purposes, if the Bund was the origin of American Nazism, the Minutemen (and to be clear, yes some were mobsters, many were not) were the real origins of the American Antifa. The groups clashed in demonstrations, marches and counter-marches, and then the Minutemen began conducting open raids on Bund meetings, armed with bats, pipes and chains. These clashes -- hotly debated in the American Jewish community at the time -- did, however, lead to more attention as to the particulars of the Bund, its denouncement by many German-Americans, and the creation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Ultimately, as so often happens with crime bosses, Kuhn was brought down by accountants -- charged with embezzling and tax evasion, he was convicted and sent to Sing-Sing, where his naturalized citizenship was revoked (he was openly acting as an agent for a foreign nation) and he was deported to Germany. He died in 1951. Arno enlisted and fought through the war, returned to the US and after a few run-ins with the law, eventually moved to California and lived out a quiet life. The Minutemen were forgotten, and with it, how openly fascism had pushed to infiltrate American life, and how, for years, it was tolerated.An interesting history lesson, one that does not glorify violence but also makes the point that it is unclear if, without the visible resistance, how much longer it would have taken, and how much more damage done, before the Bund was rooted out. Arno was not a heroic figure, but he was doing work that he felt, at an existential level, needed to be done -- considering what was playing out in Europe and the full horrors of the Holocaust that would not be revealed for years. (Although the most sickening thing was listening how people rationalized away the sight of Austrian Jews being made to scrub streets with toothbrushes, and then being surprised at the liberation films..)Ultimately what this narrative remind us that, whether you agree with the Minutemen's actions, or those of the modern Anti-Fa -- there is no Anti-Fa with out a "Fa": fascism, and fascism isn't a "political perspective", it is a totalitarian ideology that always walks hand in hand with genocide. The narrators don't argue for vigilantism but do point out the insidious way fascism was working its way to acceptability (Bund meetings focused on American heritage, had pictures of Washington and Jefferson with that of Hitler, used lots of US flags), and that, because it's principle targets were an "out group" of Jews, then immigrants and refugees, it was easy for the masses to rationalize away. This should all seems eerily familiar, and if it doesn't, it should.
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  • Daniel Frederickson
    January 1, 1970
    I strongly believe this book deserves 1 star. The style was good, and it provided interesting insights into this unique historical scene. However, it's message is one that glorifies violence and ironically self-defeating. The author defends Nat Arno's use of intimidation and gang violence; arguing for its necessity and effectiveness. Simultaneously, Donahue portrays the American Constitution as a corrupt document designed to protect racists and Nazis. To add insult to injury the book skips over I strongly believe this book deserves 1 star. The style was good, and it provided interesting insights into this unique historical scene. However, it's message is one that glorifies violence and ironically self-defeating. The author defends Nat Arno's use of intimidation and gang violence; arguing for its necessity and effectiveness. Simultaneously, Donahue portrays the American Constitution as a corrupt document designed to protect racists and Nazis. To add insult to injury the book skips over the war in Europe when Arno is actually fighting Nazis! Not only has the Constitution set forth an unprecedented blueprint for indiscriminate freedom grounded in man's unalienable rights, but civil rights leaders like William Wilberforce, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. proved that justice can be upheld without a shred of violence. Donahue's message is ultimately self defeating. The definition of fascism includes "forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism". Without a doubt Nazism is a terrible evil, but ironically the Jewish man is playing the part of fascist by fighting against free speech, freedom of assembly, and promoting mob violence. Am I being too harsh? Not at all since Donahue held up Antifa as a "relevant" model for our times. This same group violently protests Jewish thinkers like Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro. Violence against people with different ideas cannot produce a good, moral society. Fascism cannot be defeated by fascism.
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  • Diana Long
    January 1, 1970
    A short non fiction story which needs to be told especially when we see the protests with tiki carrying white supremacists in recent times. Fascism began in Germany and probably other parts of Europe prior to World War II and filtered into the United States once the German immigrants started bunds where they would gather and claim the Aryan race was far superior to other peoples and especially poured forth anti-Semitic hate filled rhetoric. We've always been a Democratic people, enjoying A short non fiction story which needs to be told especially when we see the protests with tiki carrying white supremacists in recent times. Fascism began in Germany and probably other parts of Europe prior to World War II and filtered into the United States once the German immigrants started bunds where they would gather and claim the Aryan race was far superior to other peoples and especially poured forth anti-Semitic hate filled rhetoric. We've always been a Democratic people, enjoying freedom of the press, of worship, of gathering and protesting but with it comes responsibility to not infringe on other citizens rights. For the Jewish population of Newark, New Jersey these German gatherings were more than they could bear and they stuck back, violently. This is the story of those men and one of the leaders of the “Minuteman” group. They got the name for being ready at a minutes notice to break up the meetings. It was before my time as I was born after WWII and it's one of the many stories that should be told. I question some of the decisions made by the leadership in the country especially when the war ended and the dust settled and perhaps I don't really want to know because it would be too much to bear. I do believe that stories like this, when and if they appear from time to time should be read as it's just one more piece of the puzzle for the history of us...the homo sapiens who inhabit the planet Earth.
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  • Patrick Green
    January 1, 1970
    I think, generally speaking, nobody likes Nazism. The stance contains repugnant viewpoints and extreme adherence to a vile variety of totalitarianism. Anybody who assists in making Nazism less respected is a good fellow in my book. Nat Arno is definitely one of those fellows, and this audiobook does a sufficient job of introducing you to him.Nat Arno, a pugilist and likely inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" film, helped corral Nazism in Newark, New Jersey, by beating them I think, generally speaking, nobody likes Nazism. The stance contains repugnant viewpoints and extreme adherence to a vile variety of totalitarianism. Anybody who assists in making Nazism less respected is a good fellow in my book. Nat Arno is definitely one of those fellows, and this audiobook does a sufficient job of introducing you to him.Nat Arno, a pugilist and likely inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" film, helped corral Nazism in Newark, New Jersey, by beating them with lead pipes and other such blunt instruments. From this, the audiobook is immediately more interesting than most other historical works, if for the catharsis alone.Despite how much I enjoyed the subject matter, I think the audiobook could be a little dry at times. The narrator had an uninvolving voice, and I never really got a feeling for who Nat Arno was as a person. The main focus is on the man's exploits rather than how he was as a individual.This audiobook could have benefited from a longer length and a better narrator. If all you're looking for is a decent look at how a man organized groups of Jews to physically beat Nazis and stem the spread of such a heinous philosophy, then this is for you. If you're looking for more, perhaps you should hope for something better. Still, this is worth the listen.
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  • Greg
    January 1, 1970
    I was vaguely aware of the clashes between Americans Nazis and Jewish patriots in American history mostly because of Charles Edward Coughlin, the infamous anti-Semitic peddler of Judeo-Bolshevism conspiracies from college classes.The minutemen by Donahue tells the story of Nat Arno, boxer-turned-mafia-muscleman who finds purpose in opposing American Nazism. It’s an interesting story but could have used a bit more flushing out, as it’s only touched on that Nazism had a moment in American history I was vaguely aware of the clashes between Americans Nazis and Jewish patriots in American history mostly because of Charles Edward Coughlin, the infamous anti-Semitic peddler of Judeo-Bolshevism conspiracies from college classes.The minutemen by Donahue tells the story of Nat Arno, boxer-turned-mafia-muscleman who finds purpose in opposing American Nazism. It’s an interesting story but could have used a bit more flushing out, as it’s only touched on that Nazism had a moment in American history as a semi-flourishing fringe subculture. While I’ve seen some reviews who aren’t thrilled with the obvious analogies drawn to modern Antifa, the truth is, that there is a long history opposing Nazis with violence in America. Does it work? That’s not really the aim of this piece. Through the lens of history, Arno is an antihero as we well know the stakes of Nazism in the 1930s opposing fascism in the only way he knew how: fists, and lead pipes. At least one of the minutemen interviewed knew that likely didn’t de-radicalize anyone or dissuade any Nazi from Nazism. However, what’s unsaid is it drew a line in the sand that there wouldn’t be any Kristallnockian moment in American without a brutal fight. It’s interesting that Donahue never used this for vindication.
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  • Jim Gleason
    January 1, 1970
    With my own life living in New Jersey so near to the Newark NJ location of this documentary about a time in this century when anti-Semitism was very prominent and public in neo-Nazi groups trying to build a new-Germany in these United States, I found the narrative fascinating. This was all new to me and very scary in seeing so much conflict among various political groups even today that came as all too close to this telling of late 1930s and '40's happenings here in our country. It was With my own life living in New Jersey so near to the Newark NJ location of this documentary about a time in this century when anti-Semitism was very prominent and public in neo-Nazi groups trying to build a new-Germany in these United States, I found the narrative fascinating. This was all new to me and very scary in seeing so much conflict among various political groups even today that came as all too close to this telling of late 1930s and '40's happenings here in our country. It was interesting that as Jewish militants rose up to savagely attack the neo-Nazi organizers that were attacking the Jewish community, there were two opposite reactions to that activity. While many supported the violence, others opposed it feeling that that violence would actually hurt the Jewish cause overall.Very detailed accounts of the conflict may turn some readers off, but I felt that telling was eye-opening to give the reader the significance of the overall conflict in society at that time and place. Very worthwhile and interesting reading (even if you don't live here in New Jersey - smile!)
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  • Bill Hooten
    January 1, 1970
    First, I only got this book, because it was the most interesting looking of the books that were being offered free. Second, another reason that I chose it was because it was short, and I could listen to it one day; going back and forth to work. Third, I am really glad that I did. Fourth, it is amazing how ignorant that one can be about the history of their own country.I never had heard of Nat Arno, the New Jersey Minutemen, and the amount of German-American Nazis that were impacting the east First, I only got this book, because it was the most interesting looking of the books that were being offered free. Second, another reason that I chose it was because it was short, and I could listen to it one day; going back and forth to work. Third, I am really glad that I did. Fourth, it is amazing how ignorant that one can be about the history of their own country.I never had heard of Nat Arno, the New Jersey Minutemen, and the amount of German-American Nazis that were impacting the east coast in such a large way. I didn't know that there was a Jewish mob that was very strong in Newark, New Jersey. I didn't know that there was such a violent clash between the Jewish mob, and the German-American Nazis during the 1930's. What a shame that I had not heard that story.If you want something short, east to listen to, and will expand the limits of your knowledge -- I really want to encourage you to tet this Audible Original. The author does a really good job in his writing, and the narrator is also excellet. Do your self a favor, and give this a listen.
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