ISBN 10: 1493008447 / ISBN 13: 9781493008445
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Inhaltsangabe: The true story of John Duval Gluck, Jr., who in 1913 founded the Santa Claus Association, which had the sole authority to answer Santa's mail in New York City. He ran the organization for 15 years, gaining fame for making the myth of Santa a reality to poor children by arranging for donors to deliver the toys they requested, until a crusading charity commissioner exposed Gluck as a fraud. The story is wide in scope, interweaving a phony Boy Scout group, kidnapping, stolen artwork, and appearances by the era's biggest stars and New York City's most famous landmarks. The book is both a personal story and a far-reaching historical one, tracing the history of Christmas celebration in America and the invention of Santa Claus.

Rezension: In his heyday, Washington Irving might have willed John D. Gluck into being. Though their antic contributions to American lore took place in different centuries, both were unreligious New York City bachelors who brought Santa Claus to life. The sprightly St. Nick whom Irving bequeathed to American literature and Gluck further popularized is putty in Alex Palmer's clever hands. The Santa Claus Man is a warmhearted and informative history, and a luscious tale besides." - Andrew Burstein, author of The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving What do you get when you cross thousands of poor children writing letters to Santa Claus with a silver-tongued con artist and his big dreams? You get a rollicking true story of Christmas in New York City in the Roaring Twenties, complete with kind-hearted millionaires, corrupt politicians, crusading reformers and a man, not entirely a crook, who wanted to make needy kids a little happier. Alex Palmer's The Santa Claus Man is a fascinating look at how Christmas tugs at both the heart and the wallet and how a dapper advertising genius with a waxed moustache used Santa to make himself, for a moment at least, rich and famous. Lovers of the world's favorite holiday will find enjoyment and enlightenment in this entertaining new history." - Gerry Bowler, author of Santa Claus: A Biography and The World Encyclopedia of Christmas Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and his name is John Duval Gluck, Jr., the founder of the Santa Claus Association in New York City in 1913. Have yourself a very merry Christmas by picking up a copy of the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of Gluck, skillfully written by Alex Palmer in his new book, The Santa Claus Man. It is a true gift to anyone who ever wanted to believe in Santa, recounting Gluck's effort to make the legend of Santa a reality to children by responding to the thousands of letters written to the North Pole that ended up in the dead letter files in the city's post offices. Palmer superbly recounts the trials and tribulations of Gluck and his organization as well as placing the Christmas holiday and the invention of Santa Claus into historical perspective. I suggest that while you're dashing through the snow you pick up a copy of this inspiring book as a present for you and your whole family." - J. North Conway, author of the New York City Gilded Age Trilogy: King of Heists, The Big Policeman and Bag of Bones From the very first page the reader is immersed in a bygone New York of celebrities and debutantes, impoverished children, colorful con men, crusading politicians, crass commercialism, and, above all, outsized ambition and striving self-invention; a historical city, come to think of it, not all that different than the New York City of today. One only hopes that in a hundred years' time we will have a chronicler as skilled and entertaining as Alex Palmer to tell our tales." - Stephen Duncombe, co-author of The Bobbed-Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York The Santa Claus Man is a heartwarming story of an organization founded on altruism, but as with many tales from New York's past, it comes with a twist. This story connects to the real-life landmarks and legends of NYC's history and shows how our town served as the birthplace for the secular Santa Claus we now all know so well." -Dave Herman, founder of the City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization, Brooklyn, NYC The Santa Claus Man is a Christmas pudding of a book, studded with historical nuggets and spiced with larceny. John Duval Gluck's conniving lends new meaning to the adage 'Charity begins at home.'" --Gerard Helferich, author of Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin John Gluck was the near perfect mix of shrewd huckster and canny sentimentalist to turn a Santa Claus charity into a lucrative swindle. With verve and vivid detail, Alex Palmer rescues Gluck's tale of striving, duplicity, and benevolence, a Santa Claus Man who wanted both to make children happy and to line his own pockets. In the process Palmer reveals a shadowy world of ill-regulated charity operations that found the American Christmas all too ripe for exploitation. Letters to Santa will never seem quite so innocent again." --Leigh E. Schmidt, author of Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays and Heaven's Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman Alex Palmer's lively historical account of John Gluck, founder of the Santa Claus Association and stand-in for Santa himself, adds a new chapter to the tale of New York's most famous saint. It's an early 20th century true story featuring corruption, a lawsuit, civic-minded haberdashers, and the many children whose letters to Santa would have gone unanswered if it were not for Santa's helpers. Mr. Gluck, flawed, entrepreneurial, and kind-hearted, stands at the center of this finely researched and entirely engaging work." -Penne Restad, author of Christmas in America: A History

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