Thursday, June 23, 2016

Walter Shapiro's "Hustling Hitler"

Walter Shapiro has covered every presidential campaign since 1980. A columnist at Roll Call, he is also a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU and a lecturer in political science at Yale. He is the winner of the Sigma Delta Chi Award, given by the Society of Professional Journalists, as the best 2010 online columnist for his work for Politics Daily. In recent years, Shapiro was the Washington bureau chief for Salon, twice weekly political columnist for USA Today and monthly columnist for Esquire. In prior incarnations, he was on the staffs of Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. He was also a White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.

For a decade, Shapiro performed standup comedy at clubs in New York and claims that his on-stage career is merely on hiatus. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, writer Meryl Gordon.

Here Shapiro shares some thoughts on adapting his new book, Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Führer, for the big screen:
Since I know the status of a book writer in Hollywood (somewhere between a pool boy and a valet parking attendant), I have no illusions that anyone would ever listen to my casting suggestions for Hustling Hitler. Though, in idle moments, I do imagine movie posters and TV commercials proclaiming, "George Clooney Is Freeman Bernstein."

While writing my book, I did indulge in a wild fantasy about casting. In a perfect universe, I could bring back Zero Mostel to impersonate Freeman Bernstein. For Hustling Hitler was written to be a real-life counterpart to The Producers.
Visit the Hustling Hitler website.

--Marshal Zeringue