News

This site includes news and reviews for David's books, especially The Eddie Cantor Story

See the Events page for information about upcoming book talks and media appearances.

Book Reviews| Podcasts and Videos| News Articles| Blogs and Essays


Book Reviews


Garrett Eisler, who has conducted important research on Ben Hecht’s Jewish activism, reviewed recent biographies of Hecht and Billy Rose, along with The Eddie Cantor Story, in American Theatre.


Read Lauren B. Strauss review of The Eddie Cantor Story in American Jewish History. David’s “prose is clear and sophisticated, and he marshals extensive anecdotes and Cantor one-liners to spice up the narrative." 


Read why Lenny Bruce called Eddie Cantor “goyish” in Josh Lambert’s review of The Eddie Cantor Story from the Journal of American History. "A thorough, incisive biographical study of Cantor."


A review by Kathryn Fuller-Seeley in The Journal of Radio & Audio Media. “Eddie Cantor lived a life of purpose and of creative achievement. This book will delight radio studies scholars and, also, those interested in history of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, film and TV entertainment, Jewish studies, and ethnic and racial representation in U.S. cultural history.”


A review of The Eddie Cantor Story by Fred Issac in the Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, September/October 2018. “The book is recommended for all levels of Judaica library.” You can find this review in our Gallery.


Howard Freedman reviewed The Eddie Cantor Story in the Bay Area Jewish News. He liked the book!


Bettina Berch, author of From Hester Street to Hollywood:  The Life and Work of Anzia Yezierska, reviewed The Eddie Cantor Story for the Jewish Book Council's blog, The Prosen People (12/18/2017). From her review: "David Weinstein manages to make the story of Eddie Cantor’s career timely, instructive, and really rather remarkable. . . This reconsideration of the career of Eddie Cantor provides an unexpected look at a pioneer in the art of being publicly Jewish. As the old saying goes, 'Try it, you’ll like it.'” Link here.


Library Journal, 10/1/2017,  published a nice review of the book  by Herbert E. Shapiro. "This highly recommended book will be of keen interest to readers in fields of Jewish culture and politics." You can find the full review on the Barnes and Noble site. 


Trav S.D. reviewed The Eddie Cantor Story on his Travalanche blog, an essential resource for anybody interested in the history of popular entertainment and show business. From his review: "This isn’t a humor book, it’s a biography of a pathbreaking entertainer. And as a source of inspiration at the moment it couldn’t be better timed." Thanks, Mr. S.D. Link here.


Advance praise for The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics from Mark Cohen. 
“The history of the Jewish American community is sometimes reflected in the life of a single individual. David Weinstein makes an excellent case that the singer, comedian, and actor Eddie Cantor was such a person, and this biography of Cantor offers the reader one of the greatest pleasures of nonfiction, which is the joy of finding surprising new knowledge on nearly every page. . . .  The Eddie Cantor Story is a wonderful book for anyone interested in twentieth-century popular culture, Jewish history, and the ongoing drama of immigrants becoming Americans.”
—Mark Cohen, author of Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman 


Advance praise for The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics from Hasia Diner. 
“The Eddie Cantor story needed to be told, both to those who remember him and to later generations. A story like this deserved to be presented in a deeply researched and engaging narrative to show the convergence of Jewish immigrant life, the rise of America’s urban vernacular culture and the role of Jews in it, set against the realities of global Jewish politics in the age of Nazism and the Holocaust. . . . No mere celebrity biography, The Eddie Cantor Story melds together politics and popular culture.”
—Hasia Diner, New York University


Podcasts and Videos


Alex Williams spoke with David about the DuMont network for his entertaining and thought-provoking Ephemeral podcast. Alex dug up terrific archival audio to accompany his talk with David. Listen here.


David talked with Dan Mariaschin, CEO and Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International, as part of B’nai B’rith’s podcast series. You can listen here.


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum posted a video of the “What Were We Watching” program held at the museum on September 13, 2018.


American Jewish Historical Society posted a video of the May 10, 2018 program on Eddie Cantor and Sophie Tucker. I presented with Lauren Sklaroff, author of a Sophie Tucker biography. Professor Hasia Diner moderated! 


National Archives posted a video of David’s May 2, 2018 Eddie Cantor book talk!


David enjoyed talking with Christine Lamberson on this New Books in History podcast 


On November 19, 2017, Laurence Maslon devoted a full-hour of his excellent Broadway to Main Street series to Eddie Cantor.  He kindly mentioned my book in between songs by Cantor, Nina Simone, and Matthew Broderick.  Thank you, Laurence. Listen to podcast here or on iTunes


News Articles


Coverage of our May 2019 “What We Were We Watching” program in Atlanta, produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in the Atlanta Jewish Times.


Coverage of our December 2018 “What We Were We Watching” programs in South Florida, produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in the Florida Jewish Journal  and the Miami Herald.  


Jackie Mansky interviewed David about DuMont for her excellent Smithsonian magazine essay on the early history of live TV musicals. Yay!


Coverage of David’s presentation to Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Potomac) in Washington Jewish Week, December 14, 2017. Article hereBaltimore Jewish Times also ran the article. 


Blogs and Essays by David


The American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) blog published David’s short essay on how a letter that he discovered in the AJHS archives linked Cantor, Fred Allen, anti-semitic humor, and patriotic “propaganda” by Jewish celebrities.


Nostalgia Digest published an excerpt from The Eddie Cantor Story in the Spring 2018 issue, alongside features on James Cagney and Fats Waller. http://www.nostalgiadigest.com/nostalgiadigest.html


David's "Memories of Jerry Lewis" now posted on the UPNE blog.