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Little Caesar


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About the Author

Alan L. Gansberg is an award-winning writer, producer, and director working in television, film, and documentary filmmaking. He is also a professor of film and president of the Faculty Association at Columbia College Hollywood in Tarzana, California. In addition, Gansberg teaches acting workshops and privately coaches actors.


This is a fine book. It may not say much about Robinson's qualities as an actor, or about whether a Red menace existed in any form, but it is, none the less, an absorbing tale of a resilient star, and a reminder of how a democracy can almost implode when bullies and fantasists get their hands on power. * Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal *
A quartet of outstanding film books have just hit the stores. Alan L. Gansberg's Little Caesar: A Biography of Edward G. Robinson (Scarecrow Press) is a little light on production details about the films of this great actor (Little Caesar, Double Indemnity, Key Largo, The Ten Commandments), but assumes larger significance with its thorough examination of Robinson's persecution by the House on Un-American Activities in the late 40s and early 50s. Robinson's integrity shines through, along with his personal passion for painting, which resulted in a vastly prized collection of paintings that he was forced to slowly sell off as his Hollywood fortunes waned. * National Board Of Review *
...a loving portrait and tribute to a fine actor and true survivor. It will satisfy not only film buffs, but serious students of the modern American Jewish experience as well. -- Jeffrey Kobrin * Jewish Book World *
Robinson was, of course, one of the screen's great actors...Gansberg, a superb writer, tells the stormy Robinson story in fascinating detail. It's difficult to fathom, but EGR never received a single Oscar nomination in his career and he dies before an honorary Academy Award he'd been voted could be handed to him in 1973. But, I suspect, he would have considered this fine-tuned telling of his story an even better reward than any shiny gold-plated statuette. * Hollywood Reporter *
Robinson should have been at the peak of his film career in 1952. But, while proclaiming himself a liberal Democrat who had been "duped" by communists before the House Un-American Committee, he was reduced to performing on stage for a fraction of his usual fees. Even after this testimony Robinson struggled to find work in the Hollywood of the blacklist era, and later, although he stoutly asserted he had never "named names," he struggled again in the post-HUAC backlash. * Reference and Research Book News *
In this fascinating biography, Alan L. Gansberg reveals the man behind the public face, his many memorable roles among more than 100 films, and his struggle to find steady work in Hollywood again. * The Big Reel *
This is the definitive and authoritative biography of Robinson....Gansberg's engaging prose and his illuminating history provide the most complete and most elegant life of Robinson now available. -- Henry L. Carrigan * Foreword Reviews *
I agreed to speak with Alan Gansberg about the blacklisting period in Hollywood because I believe there are stories of people that need to be told from a perspective of cultural history, not hysteria or anger. Alan has told Edward G. Robinson's story as a truly human one. -- Robert Aldrich
A very young man walked into my office and said he wanted to talk about Eddie Robinson and the gangster movies from the 1930s. I thought, "What could this kid possibly know about Robinson and Little Caesar?" Well, an awful lot, as it turns out, and he's written a fine book about Robinson. -- Mervyn LeRoy
With this authoritative biography, Alan L. Gansberg reaffirms his place in the very first rank of Hollywood historians. He not only gives us a portrait that captures the essence of Edward G. Robinson's electric screen personality, vulnerability and even his pain, but Mr. Gansberg also provides an important contextual framework for understanding the Hollywood in which Robinson lived and worked. Invaluable and indispensable for any student of the man and his period. -- Lionel Chetwynd
Little Caesar is a big book: It charts not only the rise and fall of a great actor, but the panic and betrayal of American culture. -- Donald Freed
As an historian of Hollywood, Alan L. Gansberg is cogent on not just the events, but the root and cultural ramifications of the events. Little Caesar: A Biography of Edward G. Robinson of tells us not just what drove a most heralded actor to greatness, but gives us one man's chilling view of the notorious blacklist which became the noose around Robinson's neck, and his career. -- Alvin D. Hall

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