Updated: Jun 2
There are very few writers whose books are automatic purchases for me. When Bill Bryson announces a new book, I go ahead and click "Add to Cart." When Jon Meacham has a new one coming, I add it to my list. And when Julia Bricklin publishes a brand new book, I know I'm going to discover a riveting tale of forgotten history that takes me back in time, where I'm guaranteed to find something astounding in the unknown.
Julia's new book is an exciting dive into a dark era in American history that will transport you to the captivating world of Hollywood's infamous Blacklist. Cracking these pages, you'll uncover the extraordinary story of Hannah Weinstein and her revolutionary company, Sapphire Films. Using declassified FBI and CIA files, interviews, and the personal papers of blacklisted writers and other sources, Red Sapphire depicts how for the better part of a decade, Weinstein was a leader in the Left’s battle with the Right to shape popular culture during the Cold War . . . a battle that she eventually won.
If I haven't suggested Julia Bricklin's books to you before, then here's the scoop: Bricklin is known for her masterful storytelling, deep understanding of the complexities of American history, and careful consideration of marginalized people and forgotten history. Two of my favorites by her are "The Notorious Life of Ned Buntline: A Tale of Murder, Betrayal, and the Creation of Buffalo Bill" (my review is here) and "America's Best Female Sharpshooter: The Rise and Fall of Lillian Frances Smith." Meticulously researched and compassionately told, her stories are so much fun to read, and I am very much looking forward to this one, which I preordered the day it popped up on Amazon.
"Red Sapphire" shines a spotlight on Hannah Weinstein, a trailblazing woman who was way ahead of her time, and her indomitable spirit that defied the constraints of the Hollywood Blacklist era. Bricklin explores Weinstein's untold contributions to the film industry, unearthing a story of resilience, creativity, and triumph over adversity. In this engrossing narrative, Weinstein's company, Sapphire Films, emerges as a beacon of artistic integrity amidst a time of intense scrutiny and censorship. Julia's prose is vivid and her tone absolutely captures an essential truth about the realities of this tumultuous period.
Writers need preorders. It's how publishers decide how much of their marketing weight they're going to use to support books and their authors. So here's my pitch:
In the pages of "Red Sapphire: The Woman Who Beat the Blacklist," Julia Bricklin invites us into a forgotten chapter of history, where one woman's resilience and determination shattered political and social barriers. This book is a monument to and a celebration of the courage of Hannah Weinstein and her enduring legacy. And it's a hell of a good story.