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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn: My Crazy Life in History, with Hilarious People, Celebrities, with Travel & with Business by Bill Morgenstein is a powerful, sometimes moving memoir of a man who made his mark while maintaining character, integrity, and honesty. Told in the first-person POV, which immediately pulls you into the author's mindset and emotions, he leads you through his early years in Brooklyn, through his love affair with shoes and the business of shoes, and his life as a married man and hard worker. Like a lot of boys, he played on a local team but yearned to play ball for the New York Yankees. Work got in the way, however, so his goal shifted to becoming the president of a company by the time he reached thirty-five. That's how he became the president of a chain of shoe companies called Kitty Kelly. This led to more success in the shoe business and banking, which afforded him world travel and the opportunity to meet the famous and non-famous alike. Through it all, he stayed who he was, even when he was scammed out of a fortune.
This memoir has many life experiences and life lessons that we can use, from being honest to picking yourself up and moving forward in the face of loss. Some memoirs are tell-alls, and some come across as a bulleted list of accomplishments, but with Bill Morgenstein's, you really feel as though you're getting to know this person, his life, and the people that were in it. Even though it was hard, he endured the Depression era, and I'm drawn to stories from that time, and survival stories. Then the war came along. I like the retrospective of one person's life, and all the people, places, and events that make it up. This book will evoke laughter, tears, and tug at your heartstrings in a few places. I also like that he balances the hard times with the good times, and the stories of famous people he crossed paths with, like Kojak star Telly Savalas and highly-decorated US soldier Sergeant York. You will be enriched by Morgenstein's story, and you'll learn a lot about human nature, and maybe even yourself. We can learn so much from the experiences of older people, and I respect the man's life and his attitude. I'm so glad he shared his story with the world, and the images add an additional layer of authenticity. If you like slice-of-life autobiographies about success, failure, determination, and personal success, you will love The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn by Bill Morgenstein.