I hope you are having a good morning so far. Today the weather in my hometown is grayish than usual, so I’m staying home and in the afternoon I’m going to the gym. Meanwhile, I will keep working on some new posts.
Today I bring you a review of a unique book, “The Little Gate-Crasher“, a memoir written by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer about her great-grand uncle Mace Bugen.
Thank you Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer for the eCopy of the book and for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and give my honest review.
Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.
“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”
“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”
In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.
Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.
Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.
The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.
Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Social Media Links – Website | Twitter | Facebook
There’s always this feeling of connection when I read a memoir. This one was about one of a kind human being. And I’m so happy I got to read his story, written by a family member. I hadn’t heard of Mace Bugen before, but his life story was absolutely powerful and hopeful.
Moishe Morris “Mace” Bugen was an achondroplastic dwarf, and if people think that could be the end of the world for a family, think twice. Not only is this book about an amazing human being with a big personality and a kind heart, but also about a family that chose to love him and treat him the same way any other family member, and that supported him no matter what. And to me that’s the real meaning of family and being a good person.
In this book, not only talks about his life, but give us a collection of photos proving his success in getting in photograph take with important people, by using unusual and creative ways. And that just makes the story even more excited and happy in the end. Despite his needs and every obstacle, he was able to overcome it and made lived his life to the fullest.
If seeing the pics made me happy because I could see the look in his eyes in each photo and wonder if he was having fun, reading about those photo moments made me laugh (in a very good way). It’s something I cherish dearly: my family photos. So I understand the reason why Gabrielle end up writing this book. I would love to get all the stories my grandparents told me, unto paper.
“I never got mad at God. I figured he made me so that’s it”
This quote touched me. And this quote showed me how strong he really was. It’s a life lesson. There were times in my life when I was mad about how I was, but Mace never did. He just tried doing the best he could with what he had, with what God gave him, and that’s a powerful message to me.
Overall, I can see how this book could be a great why to get people enjoying their lives, and having strength to overcome each obstacle in their path. And I highly recommend it.
Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.
I you want to win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher CLICK HERE
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I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.