Double-Edged Sword

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-12-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr

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Sidney Franklin (190376) was the last person you'd expect to become a bullfighter. The streetwise son of a Russian Jewish cop, Sidney had an all-American boyhood in early twentieth-century Brooklynwhile hiding the fact that he was gay. A violent confrontation with his father sent him packing to Mexico City, where first he opened a business, then he opened his mouthbragging that Americans had the courage to become bullfighters. Training with iconic matador Rodolfo Gaona, Sidney's dare spawned a legend. Following years in small-town Mexican bullrings, he put his moxie where his mouth was, taking Spain by storm as the first American matador. Sidney's 1929 rise coincided with that of his friend Ernest Hemingway's, until a bull's horn in a most inappropriate place almost ended his careerand his life. Bart Paul illuminates the artistry and violence of the mysterious ritual of the bulls as he tells the story of this remarkable character, from Franklin's life in revolutionary Mexico to his triumphs in Spain, from the pages ofDeath in the Afternoonto the destructive vortex of Hemingway's affair with Martha Gellhorn during the bloody Spanish Civil War. This is the story of an unlikely heroa gay man in the most masculine of worlds who triumphed over prejudice and adversity as he achieved what no American had ever accomplished, teaching even Hemingway lessons in grace, machismo, and respect.

Author Biography

Bart Paul has been a critic for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, a writer of documentaries on subjects as diverse as President Truman, Masada, and Nazi atrocities in Poland, and an anthologized writer of short fiction. He lives outside Los Angeles where he raises horses and children.

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