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He Could Make Words Sing

An Ordinary Man During Extraordinary Times

David Greene

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  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Dimensions: 7.00" x 10.00"
  • ISBN: 9780998018201
  • Publication Date: 2017-11-20
  • DCG Publishing

Availability: In stock

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Paperback$17.95

He Could Make Words Sing

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Harry Greissman, raised in 1920’s and 30’s Brooklyn by his immigrant parents, represented the Greatest Generation as he defeated the Nazis in World War II, became the first in his family to graduate college, led the exodus to the suburbs in Westchester, served for 40 years as a “Mad Men” in an anti-Semitic advertising agency, and retired to sunny Florida.  His life is the subject of an interesting story told by his son-in-law in a new book, He Could Make Words Sing: An Ordinary Man During Extraordinary Times.  It reveals the message that we can all relate to Harry as an “every man” and take away insightful lessons on how to live and view our own lives in an era of struggle and discontent.

“Almost all Americans come from an immigrant family or are immigrants,” says Greene.  “We all have either suffered through the Great Depression or the Great Recession.  Many families have veterans who served their country in war and have seen its effects.  Many of us lived through the ups and downs of the second half of the 20th century or had relatives who did.  This book is a historical and sociological story of each of us, as told through the life of an “every man.”  Of course everyone’s story is unique, but we can all relate to the life and times of Harry Greissman.”

Walk through the extraordinarily tumultuous 20th century with Harry. His story recounts the issues so many Americans faced then and now, well into the 21st century: Immigration. Economic deprivation. Lost Love. War. Discrimination at work. The transition from urban to suburban life. A working couple raising a family. His story should resonate with most Americans.


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"Throughout this story, Greene…paints a picture of the various important historical events Greissman lived through and illustrates the account with photos of the veteran, his family, and various items from his past…a meaningful, moving account of his life.”  --Kirkus Reviews


"David Greene offers us one of the most compelling portraits of the world of New York's immigrant Jews in a time of nativism, Depression, and war. Harry Greissman is a relatively ordinary figure, a child of immigrant parents, who ended up in advertising after attending what is now the City University and fighting during World War II, but David Greene is no ordinary writer. His stories of Harry’s life are laced with anecdotes and comments on twentieth century life, ethnic animosities, and the rise of global fascism that both bring the past to life and force us to examine our present. Anyone who loves history or who wants to face the challenge of the new nativism embodied by Donald Trump will benefit from reading this book."--Dr. Mark Naison, Professor of History, Fordham University

David Greene

David Greene has been interviewed by or featured in The Washington Post, Education Weekly, US News and World Report, scores of radio shows, and at one time had the most-responded-to letter published in The New York Times. He is also the author of Doing the Right Thing, an insider’s view on the state of American education. He taught social studies and coached football at A.E. Stevenson HS in the Bronx, Woodlands HS in Greenburgh NY, and Scarsdale HS in Scarsdale NY, for 38 years.  He was an adjunct and field supervisor for Fordham University thus mentoring Teach For America Corps Members in the Bronx, Corp Members in the Bronx.  He was a staff member of WISE Services and treasurer of Save Our Schools. He was born in Los Angeles but was raised in the South Bronx. He went to public schools in the Bronx, including The Bronx High School of Science.  He graduated from Fordham University’s Undergraduate School of Education.