The Minuteman: A History Lesson in Beating Nazis

Today, we’re gonna review something short and sweet. Because what could be sweeter than a history lesson about Jewish boxers waging a gang war against the Nazi party?

The Minuteman is an extremely short Audible original all about the battle against American Nazis back in the 1930s. It primarily focuses on one Sidney Abramowitz, AKA Nat Arno, a Jewish boxer turned mafia bodyguard turned leader of the vigilante group known as the Minutemen, named after the original group created back in the American Revolutionary War. It tells of Arno’s childhood, his career as a mobster during the Prohibition, his creation of the Minutemen and their battle against American Nazis, and ending with his military career and retirement. Basically, it’s a documentary about a Jewish dude who got angry at the Third Reich and decided to fuck some shit up.

This offers an incredibly interesting insight into a lesser known fascit of this era in time. Of course there were Nazi sympathizers in America (not that my history teachers would ever be caught dead teaching us that), so it’s not all that surprising. But it’s still incredibly interesting; American schools don’t exactly teach you that there were Nazi related gang wars in our suburbs at the time.

Even though they totally should have, because that is way more interesting than going over the Great Depression for the twelfth time.

For a documentary piece, this book gives you a surprising amount of detail! Each scene is painted like it’s a fantasy piece, painting a clear picture of everything that was going on. It makes the book much more compelling to listen to. Combine that with the short lengths of each chapter and you get a book that’s super easy to finish in one sitting, whether you realize it or not.

It also does a really good job of staying unbiased. A lot of history texts fall into the trap of taking a clear side, which makes the validity of the content questionable. This book, however, looks at all sides of the conflict. It certainly praises Arno and the Minutemen for their efforts, but it also makes it clear that what they were doing was vigilante justice, and it wasn’t always warranted or successful. That gives the book a feeling of legitimacy, making it easier to trust that the author is presenting facts rather than bombarding you with opinions.

All in all, this is a pretty solid book! It’s short, it’s interesting, and it’s fairly engaging! It isn’t an epic that you’ll remember for your whole life or revisit time and again over the years. But it’s a fascinating bit of history that might help you look smart at a party.

Because we all discuss the dark era of World War 2 over beers and shots, right?

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