The Harry Bogen Novels by Jerome Weidman Book PDF Summary
Meet one of the most unscrupulous businessmen in American literature—from a New York Times–bestselling novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright. Set in Manhattan’s garment district, Jerome Weidman’s debut novel, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, was a scathing satire of capitalist greed as personified by the shameless scoundrel Harry Bogen, who “became an archetypal figure in American literature: the abrasive young man who would do anything to get ahead” (The New York Times). Weidman’s prose was praised by no less than F. Scott Fitzgerald, who called the book “[a] break-through into completely new and fresh literary terrain; a turning point in the American novel,” and Ernest Hemingway, who enthused: “I think [Weidman] can write just a little better than anybody else that’s around.” The book was a sensation and spawned an “equally hard-driving” sequel, What’s in It for Me?, as well as a movie version and a musical starring Elliott Gould as Harry and featuring Barbra Streisand’s Broadway debut (The New York Times). As relevant today as when they were first published in the 1930s, both novels are now available in a single volume, featuring a foreword by Alistair Cooke. I Can Get It for You Wholesale: The stage for this savagely comic novel is Manhattan’s cutthroat garment district, where six thousand manufacturers of dresses are crammed into a few blocks. Their factories are cramped, noisy, and incredibly profitable—and Harry Bogen is going to take them for all they’re worth. A classic conniver, he knows that it’s easier, and a hell of a lot more fun, to turn a buck by lying than by telling the truth. First he convinces the shipping clerks—the pack animals of the garment industry—to go on strike. With the dress manufacturers brought to their knees, Harry will be there to pick them up again. His conscience might be conflicted, if he had one in the first place. “A slick job of writing, as hard-boiled as a twelve-minute egg.” —The New York Times What’s in It for Me?: In this sharp-witted sequel, Harry Bogen is again up to his old tricks. After Harry built his empire and became king of the garment district, he blew it up, leaving his partners in jail and securing the whole of the fortune for himself. It takes only three months for Harry to find that retirement does not suit him. His latest scheme starts with an order for one thousand dresses, bought at cut-rate price from a vendor who can’t afford not to sell. From there, Harry raises the stakes, juggling deals and spinning stories as fast as he possibly can. Will he secure himself fortune everlasting, or will this Napoleon meet his Waterloo?