Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rich Cohn  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Audience: Adult;

Born: Libertyville, Illinois


-- Rich Cohn on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=rich+cohn


Illinois Connection

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Biographical and Professional Information

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Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Tough Jews
ISBN: 0099757915

Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random. 1999

Once upon a time, back in the 20s and 30s, in Brooklyn, there lived a breed of men who exist now only in legend and in the memories of a few old men. Their names were Louis Lepke, Abe Reles, Bugsy Segel, Dutch Shultz, Meyer Lansky, and they were Jewish gangsters: Jews with Guns tough, fearles Jews who roamed the streets in a time when a Jewish boy could fashion a future that was murderous and daring and wide open. Rich Cohen's father grew up in that world his family owned the diner where the gangsters known as Murder Incorporated hung out. In TOUGH JEWS he tells their stories and brilliantly evokes their world - a world of street corners and bars and nightclubs a world where murder was better than cowerdice where killings were planned and executed with precision and finesse a world of feuds, wars, schemes, where living into middle age was akind of victory a world in which for a brief moment, Jews were among the most important criminals in America.

The Avengers
ISBN: 0375705295

Vintage. 2001

Rich Cohen, author of the acclaimed Tough Jews, again narrates a little-known episode of Jewish history, this time altering what we thought we knew about the Holocaust.

Abba Kovner, Vitka Kempner, Ruzka Korczak-comrades, lovers, friends. In the Lithuanian ghetto of Vilna, they were the heart of a breathtakingly courageous underground movement, and when the ghetto was liquidated, they fled to the forests and joined other partisans in continued sabotage and resistance. Riveting, poignant and uplifting, The Avengers is a powerful exploration of resistance and revenge, of courage and dedication, and an inside look at some of the intrepid individuals who fought against the Holocaust and the nazi occupation of Europe.

Lake Effect
ISBN: 0375725334

Vintage. 2003

A New York Times Notable Book

Winner of the Great Lakes Book Award and the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library

Raised in an affluent suburb on the North Shore of Chicago, Rich Cohen had a cluster of interesting friends, but none more interesting than Jamie Drew. Fatherless, reckless, and lower middle class in a place that wasn’t, Jamie possessed such an irresistible insouciance and charm that even the teachers called him Drew-licious. Through the high school years of parties and Cub games and girls, of summer nights on the beach and forbidden forays into the blues bars of Chicago’s notorious South Side, the two formed an inseparable bond. Even after Cohen went to college in New Orleans (Jamie went to Kansas) and then moved to New York, where he had a memorable interlude with the legendary New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell, Jamie remained oddly crucial to his life. Exquisite and taut, Lake Effect is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that quietly bores to the essence of friendship and how it survives even as it is destined to change.

Machers and Rockers: Chess Records and the Business of Rock & Roll (Enterprise)
ISBN: 039305280X

W. W. Norton & Company. 2004

"Rich Cohen is a born storyteller, and this tale of how Muddy Waters and Leonard Chess helped invent Rock & Roll in Chicago in the 1950s is a tough, funny and smart read. It's a big story, told in a big way." ―Jann Wenner

A tour-de-force history of Jews, blues, and the birth of a new industry. On the south side of Chicago in the late 1940s, two immigrants, one a Jew born in Russia, the other a black blues singer from Mississippi met and changed the course of musical history. Muddy Waters electrified the blues, and Leonard Chess recorded it. Soon Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry added a dose of pulsating rhythm, and Chess Records captured that, too. Rock & roll had arrived, and an industry was born. In a book as vibrantly and exuberantly written as the music and people it portrays, Rich Cohen tells the engrossing story of how Leonard Chess, with the other record men, made this new sound into a multi-billion-dollar business aggressively acquiring artists, hard-selling distributors, riding the crest of a wave that would crash over a whole generation. Full of absorbing lore and animated by a deep love for popular music, Machers and Rockers is a smash hit.

The Record Men: The Chess Brothers and the Birth of Rock & Roll (Enterprise)
ISBN: 0393327507

W. W. Norton. 2005

"Brilliant the best book I have ever read about the recording industry a classic."--Larry King

On the south side of Chicago in the late 1940s, two immigrants one a Jew born in Russia, the other a black blues singer from Mississippi met and changed the course of musical history. Muddy Waters electrified the blues, and Leonard Chess recorded it. Soon Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry added a dose of pulsating rhythm, and Chess Records captured that, too. Rock & roll had arrived, and an industry was born. In a book as vibrantly and exuberantly written as the music and people it portrays, Rich Cohen tells the engrossing story of how Leonard Chess, with the other record men, made this new sound into a multi-billion-dollar business aggressively acquiring artists, hard-selling distributors, riding the crest of a wave that would crash over a whole generation. Originally published in hardcover as Machers and Rockers. About the series: Enterprise pairs distinguished writers with stories of the economic forces that have shaped the modern worlds the institutions, the entrepreneurs, the ideas. Enterprise introduces a new genre the business book as literature. 12 illustrations

Sweet and Low: A Family Story
ISBN: 0312426011

Picador. 2007

Sweet and Low is the bittersweet, hilarious story of Ben Eisenstadt, who invented sugar packets and Sweet'N Low, and amassed the great fortune that would later destroy his family. It is a story of immigrants, Jewish gangsters, and Brooklyn of sugar, saccharine, obesity, and diet crazes of jealousy, betrayal, and ambition. Disinherited along with his mother and siblings, Rich Cohen has written a rancorous, colorful history of his extraordinary family and their pursuit of the American dream.


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