15 Minutes Magazine - The Magazine of Society and Celebrity

Celebrating Our 17TH Year!

Official Magazine of the Next 15 Minutes


No. 115 / 2017


Tim Boxer


Elizabeth Taylor: A Shining Legacy on FilmLiz Lives!

HAT a remarkable tribute to one of the most wonderful shining stars in the Hollywood constellation! Film historian Cindy De La Hoz has produced a lavishly illustrated portfolio, Elizabeth Taylor: A Shining Legacy on Film, spanning the life and loves of the last of the Hollywood icons.

This dazzling coffee table scrapbook guides you through Elizabeth’s remarkable career starting at age nine with her 1942 screen debut in There’s One Born Every Minute, a 60-minute flick from Universal. She achieved this just three years after arriving from England on the brink of war.

Her Universal contract lasted one year after a casting director decided that "The kid has nothing. Her eyes are too old. She doesn’t have the face of a kid." That was Universal’s loss. The following year MGM made Elizabeth’s next picture, Lassie Come Home, with Roddy McDowall, another young refugee from war-weary England.

Elizabeth left us on March 23, 2011, as a result of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. As De La Hoz relates, her funeral service at Forest Lawn Cemetery began 15 minutes behind schedule, so she would "be late for the last bloody judgment," as Richard Burton used to tell her she would most certainly be. (Running Press, 9x12, 304 pages, $30.00, Amazon.com Price: $17.79)


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They Wished They Were HonestWhen Cops Were Corrupt

VERY two decades years since 1894, New York experiences the throes of police corruption. One recurring cycle of law enforcement accountability exploded in the 1970s with the revelations of the Knapp Commission. In 1992 another eruption of police criminality was revealed by the Mollen Commission. It is now two decades later. Are we due for another exposure of police malfeasance? Not under Commissioner Ray Kelly’s efficacious watch. (But stay tuned.)

As recounted in They Wished They Were Honest, whistleblower Frank Serpico incited the investigation of pervasive police corruption among his cop colleagues in the 70s. The author, Queens County District Attorney Michael F. Armstrong, served as chief counsel for the Knapp Commission, which was tasked by Mayor John Lindsay to investigate Serpico’s accusations of police misconduct. As they probed the Big Apple’s police department for two years, they uncovered more than just a few rotten apples.

Armstrong’s inside story of the 1970 tsunami of police criminality is riveting. Known as New York’s Finest, the NYPD he found "were also—almost all of them—corrupt."

As Serpico (remember the movie?) puts it: "Ten percent of the cops in New York City are absolutely corrupt, ten percent are absolutely honest, and the other eighty percent—they wish they were honest."

Today Ray Kelly is keeping a lid on it. He is such an admired police commissioner that there is talk in many civic quarters of running him for mayor. (Columbia University Press, 272 pages, Amazon.com Price: $29.50)


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This amazing oversize volume is a glorified timeline. John Haywood, a research fellow in history at Lancaster University, begins with the origin and dispersal of early human species six million years ago, and proceeds to document the progress of human life all over the globe throughout the centuries. It’s fascinating to see how empires come and go, and how different peoples migrate from one end of the world to the other, spreading Christianity and Islam with Jewish communities established in far flung lands. Fully illustrated with colorful maps and artwork. (Princeton University Press, 252 pages, $49.50 Amazon.com Price: $32.67)

INGLORIOUS DISARRAYINGLORIOUS DISARRAY Rory Miller, director of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King’s College, University of London, offers a meticulously researched account of Europe’s constant engagement with Israel and the Palestinians since the Six-Day War of 1967. In spite of Europe’s unavailing involvement with this Mideast conflict, he concludes that Europe will continue to play "second fiddle" to an Obama administration "intent on making an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal a central goal of its time in the White House." (Columbia University Press, 275 pages, Amazon.com Price: $35.00)

Tone Poems Book 1TONE POEMS Bruce Barnbaum, the photographer with a remarkably insightful eye, has produced two large format volumes dedicated "to the magnificent earth." Tone Poems Book 1 consists of three sections or opuses exploring the environment. Opus 1 presents landscapes as abstractions. Opus 2 captures the results of illegal mining; Opus 3 celebrates this glorious planet with lyrical images. Tone Poems Book 2 brings us surreal landscapes as well as remarkable representations of this earth, including an opus on trees and woods like you’ve never noticed them before. Each plate is worthy of museum display. Because, as Barnbaum writes, "photography and music are linked in my mind," the books come with a 74-minute CD of classical music by pianist Judith Cohen, to set the mood for the enjoyment of these magnificent images. (Rocky Nook/O’Reilly will publish two additional books, for a set of four, each 120 pages and $79.95 Amazon.com Price: $56.27)

THE JOY OF JEWISH HUMOR 2013 DAY-TO-DAY CALENDARTHE JOY OF JEWISH HUMOR 2013 DAY-TO-DAY CALENDAR Wouldjew believe Marnie Winston-Macauley has the sharpest sense of humor this side of the Laugh Factory? No yenta, this gifted author/columnist dispenses anecdotes and one-liners to begin every day of the year with a laugh, a grin, a chuckle, a smile (even a groan if you’ve heard that one before). Like this witticism from George Burns: "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible." Or Groucho Marx: "Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy." You don’t have to be Jewish to laugh with Marnie (but it helps). Marnie’s hilarious observations will hit you in the kishkes. Take Purim, the holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s death decree. For Marnie these are the best parts of the holiday:

  • Nobody knows if you’re having a bad hair day; you tell them it’s your costume.
  • It’s easier to spell than Hanuka, Hanukkah, Khanuka, Chanuka. Okay, the Festival of Lights.
  • You don’t have to change all the dishes.
  • You don’t have to build a hut.
  • You won’t get poked in the eye with a lulav (palm branch).

(Andrews McMeel Publishing, box, 365 pages (in a leap year you get an extra page, just for laughs), $13.99 Amazon.com Price: $6.99)

THE JEWS IN POLAND AND RUSSIATHE JEWS IN POLAND AND RUSSIA Antony Polonsky, the Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University, has succeeded admirably with this outstanding three-volume history. The first volume takes us from 1350 to 1881; the second from 1881 to 1914, and the third from 1914 to 2008. Poland and Russia, of course, was the heart of Jewish culture, the soul of Jewish religious life, and the center of Jewish history during all that time—until obliterated by Hitler and Stalin. From the 18th century, as Littman observes, Hasidism developed as a major religious revival within the czarist empire, the rise of the great yeshivas sprouted in Lithuania, Hebrew and Yiddish literature flourished, and new political movements such as Zionism and socialism transformed the Jewish political landscape. This is the story, and more, in Polonsky’s powerful roller coaster narrative of the rise of Jewish civilization which ended up in the 20th century graveyards of Poland and Russia. (Littman Library/ISBS, Portland, Oregon, Vol. 1, 534 pages, Amazon.com Price: $59.50; Vol. 2, 492 pages, Amazon.com Price: $59.50; Vol. 3, 998 pages, $69.50 Amazon.com Price: $55.37)

ROGET’S THESAURUS OF WORDS FOR INTELLECTUALSROGET’S THESAURUS OF WORDS FOR INTELLECTUALS You will gladly add this to your bookshelf, next to your standard thesaurus. You won’t find all the words in the English language; just words that make you sound more…intellectual. For example, "change" will yield nouns such as acculturation, flux, etc. with definitions for each word; verbs like emend, metamorphose, etc. and definitions for each word; adjectives like mercurial, protean, etc.; antonyms like immutable, ossify, etc. Each definition of every word is amplified with examples in speech. Invaluable reference. (Adams Media, paper cover, 448 pages, $16.95 Amazon.com Price: $12.88)

THE ULTIMATE ALLERGY-FREE SNACK COOKBOOKTHE ULTIMATE ALLERGY-FREE SNACK COOKBOOK The Zucker twins, Judi and Shari, who collaborated on five other titles about dieting, offer a hundred recipes for healthy and delicious allergen-free snacks. Allergies affect children more than adults, but the majority outgrows them with age. But why do so many kids get allergies? The authors say it may be due to "hygiene hypothesis, our tendency to clean living. "We strive for an antiseptic, dirt-free world; one in which our immune systems no longer have to fight germs the way they used to." So our bodies have shifted their focus from fighting infections to viewing harmless proteins in foods as harmful invaders, overreacting and causing an allergic response. The twins have produced a valuable book to help every parent with affected children to cope with food allergies. You can treat non-food allergies with medication. But there’s no cure for food allergies. That’s why this is such an important book, an essential aid for every family with food intolerant kids. (Square One, softcover, 136 pages, $15.95 Amazon.com Price: $15.53)

JEWISH JOCKS: AN UNORTHODOX HALL OF FAMEJEWISH JOCKS: AN UNORTHODOX HALL OF FAME Franklin Foer, editor, and Marc Tracy, staff writer, both at the New Republic, have edited a deliciously different book of first-person reminiscences of the Jewish icons of sports. Among the 50 contributors in this marvelous collection, you’ll enjoy New York Times Pulitzer winner Ira Berkow riffing on Hank Greenberg, Vanity Fair/Rolling Stone writer Rich Cohen musing on Sid Luckman, New York Times columnist David Brooks on Art Shamsky of the Mets, New Yorker editor David Remnick recalling sports broadcaster Howard Cosell, and Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg conjuring up Hezbollah’s favorite wrestler, Bill Goldberg. While reporting from the Hezbollah-infested southern suburbs of Beirut, Jeffrey endeared himself to the "ayatollah-loving, terror-committing, Israel-loathing Party of God" whose members at various times looked upon Jews as vermin, bacilli, or vipers. Only because he shared the same name as the much adored god of the wrestling ring, Jeffrey was welcomed with open arms. (Twelve/Hacthette Book Group, 304 pages, $26.99 Amazon.com Price: $17.27)


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