This will be a short review for a short book, but I just wanted to draw attention to another Audible Original: Greg Donahue’s “The Minuteman, The Forgotten Legacy of Nat Arno and the Fight against Newark’s Nazis”.
A brief overview of the life of professional boxer-turned mob enforcer Nat Arno, “The Minuteman” describes how a New Jersey street tough became one of the most outspoken resistor’s of the Nazi presence in the US before World War II.
It’s astonishing how little I’ve heard about pro-Nazi groups and sympathizers in the US in this period, but this story shows how easily troubled times such as 1930’s Newark can be swept under the rug and forgotten.
Donahue used another book, Nazis in Newark by Warren Grover, as one of his sources and decided to chase down the story of Nat Arno. For me, however, this story has made me want to learn more about this period in American history that I feel like I know nothing about.
It’s perhaps not surprising that there were Nazi supporters in the US at this time, but the scale of support is shocking, from a youth training camp in rural New Jersey to a rally at Madison Square Garden.
It’s also difficult not to draw parallels to the current political climate. The only difference is that today, white supremacist sympathies are blatant and unabashed. Troubled times.