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Kickass News

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!
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Now displaying: 2021
Aug 26, 2021

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (Ret.) is the whistleblower who exposed former President Donald Trump's notorious phone call Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zellensky that led to the second impeachment of Trump.  Vindman reveals the weird activity that tipped him off that this was going to be an unusual phone call, the moment when he realized Trump may have violated the law, and what happened when he reported the matter to his own brother.  He describes the almost immediate pressure campaign to silence him, how his military training came in handy when he testified in the Congressional Impeachment Hearing, and why he feels that the Impeachment committee and the press focused too much on the prospect of a "quid pro quo."  Plus he talks about the effort to rob him of his expected military promotion and how he's now reaching out to help other victim's of bullying.

Order Alexander Vindman's new memoir HERE, RIGHT MATTERS: An American Story on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and keel with us at www.kickassnews.com or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Visit Airwave at www.airwavemedia.com or on Apple Podcasts to discover our other excellent podcasts like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, The Accidental Creative, and Into the Impossible.

Aug 24, 2021

This is a preview episode of the new podcast When Things Go Wrong, hosted by Frank Supovitz.  Frank served a combined 23 years as Senior Vice President, Events for the National Football League and the Group Vice President of Events & Entertainment for the National Hockey League.  He's seen it all, and knows how to handle a crisis such as the time the lights went out in the middle of the Super Bowl!

Frank interviews leaders in sports, news, music, movies, tech, politics and more about the anatomy of real crises, large and small, how they might have been prevented, and how they were resolved...or managed when they couldn’t be.

In this episode, Frank talks with Jeff Miller, former Chief Security Executive of the NFL, about Super Bowl security, and then Jeff discusses the most difficult experience of his professional life: managing the unfolding tragedy of a school shooting in front of media from around the world.

If you enjoy this episode, please listen and subscribe to When Things Go Wrong on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen!

Aug 11, 2021

This is a preview of episode 1 of the latest season of Legends of the Old West about the infamous land dispute known as a the Pleasant Valley War. What began as a feud between two families turned into a decade-long war that engulfed much of the Arizona territory and  became the most deadly range conflict in US history.  

In each season of Legends of the Old West, host Chris Wimmer tells the tales of lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok and the Texas Rangers; outlaws like Jesse James and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Native American leaders like Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse; and rowdy towns like Deadwood, Tombstone and Dodge City.

Subscribe to Legends of the Old West on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. etc.  Also check out Chris Wimmer's historical true crime podcast Infamous America on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.   Infamous America and Legends of the Old West are produced by Black Barrel Media and are part of the Airwave Media podcast network.

Aug 9, 2021

Season 15 of the true crime history podcast Infamous America is all about the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Heist.  It involved one of New York’s biggest crime families and nearly $6 million in cash and jewelry - the largest cash robbery ever on American soil at the time.  The money and jewels are still missing to this day and the mystery remains largely unsolved!  Enjoy this preview of Episode 1: The Robert's Lounge Gang.

Hosted by Chris Wimmer, Infamous America takes you on a journey through the wildest, and sometimes darkest, chapters of American history. From the Salem Witch Trials to the gangsters of the 1930s to assassins, traitors, outlaws, scandals and events that still defy explanation, you’ll hear them all on Infamous America.

Subscribe to Infamous America on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also check out Chris Wimmer's western history show Legends of the Old West on Apple, Spotify, etc.  Infamous America and Legends of the Old West are produced by Black Barrel Media and are part of the Airwave Media podcast network.

Jul 5, 2021

Ben Rhodes, A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama, discusses what it was like to go from being the ultimate White House insider to reporting on world events from the outside.  He talks about his conversation with the now imprisoned Russian activist Alexei Navalny, what he learned from the Hong Kong protesters, and how Hungarian strongman Victor Orban quickly consolidated power and rolled back post-Soviet freedoms.  Plus he reveals why he believes that America is partly to blame for figures like Orban, Putin, and Xi, and he even weighs in on the government’s joint intelligence report about Unidentified Arial Phenomena.

Order Ben's new book After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to Ben’s podcast Pod Save the World wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @brhodes.

Jun 23, 2021

Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone discusses his book Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire.  He talks about how Amazon has exploded during the pandemic, how the company’s purchase of Whole Foods proved all the critics wrong, and why the online retail giant is now making a big bet on brick and mortar stores.  We get into the fraught process of selecting a location for Amazon HQ2 and how Bezos managed to triumph over a different public relations nightmare surrounding his extra-marital affair.  Plus we discuss Bezos’s relationship with frienemy Elon Musk, why he’s choosing to retire from Amazon, and what’s next for the company known as the “Everything Store.”

Order Brad Stone's new book Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Brad on twitter at @Brad Stone

Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Movie Therapy, When Things Go Wrong, Legends of the Old West, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

Jun 14, 2021

Malcolm Gladwell discusses the stranger fiction of the story of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.  Plus Malcolm talks about his heart-wrenching visit to museum dedicated to victims of the Tokyo firebombings, his revealing dinner with the top brass of the US Airforce,  and why he’s making a big bet on audiobooks with his latest offering.

Order Malcolm's new book The Bomber Mafia on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

Jun 1, 2021

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meacham returns to discuss the early rumblings within the Conservative movement that led to the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021 and why Democrats and Republicans can no longer agree on something as objective as facts.  He reveals that the roots of January 6 go as far back as Barry Goldwater, how the GOP succeeded in squelching the John Birchers in the 60’s, but how they failed to control the radical elements in the party today.  Plus Q-Anon, the future of the Republican Party, and Jon shares what his late friend George H.W. Bush thought about the rise of the alt-right.

Subscribe to Jon Meacham's podcast FATE OF FACT on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen.  Follow Jon on twitter at @jonmeacham and at www.jonmeacham.com.  Today's episode was brought to you by Gastropod podcast.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

May 24, 2021

Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney discusses his new documentary The Crime of the Century about how big pharma knowingly got America hooked on opioids. 

Watch Alex's two-part documentary The Crime of the Century on HBO Max and follow Alex on Twitter at @alexgibneyfilm.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of our other great shows like Food with Mark Bittman, Movie Therapy, and When Things Go Wrong on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

May 20, 2021

We're launching our new podcast network Airwave on Monday, May 24, starting with our first original podcast FOOD WITH MARK BITTMAN.

Former New York Times food journalist and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything, Eat Vegan Before 6:00) is obsessed with everything about food. Each week on FOOD, Mark sits down with a different guest, ranging from Chef Tom Colicchio to Jane Goodall to Carla Hall, and to important people in the food world you may not know about. They talk about cooking, eating, and how food affects us all – our lives, our health, our planet. They talk recipes, ingredients, how to shop, what to cook tonight, and what you can do to help build a better food system. Mark even takes your questions, and gives advice – cooking and otherwise! Whatever you want is fair game, from how to boil an egg to how to feed your picky toddler to how to increase people’s control over the role food plays in our lives.

Click here to subscribe now to FOOD WITH MARK BITTMAN on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t miss the first episode May 24 with Mark's special guest - the fabulous Nigella Lawson.

Apr 5, 2021

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick come back to the podcast to discuss their new 3-part documentary on Ernest Hemingway.  They share their own memories of the first Hemingway books they ever read, the challenges of getting to the real person behind the legend, and what it was like to re-examining some of the trouble aspects of the writer’s personality from his views on women and race to his struggles with mental health.  They reveal what they learned from the many contemporary authors with whom they spoke as well as Hemingway’s only living son Patrick.  Plus we talk about the time when Ernest Hemingway got in two near-fatal plane crashes within two days, how World War II changed forever changed him, how an astounding number of concussions might have led to his suicide, and why Ken believes that the quality of Hemingway’s writing was inversely proportional to the amount of shooting he did.

Hemingway airs on PBS tonight April 5 through 7 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET.  Visit www.pbs.org for more information and follow Ken and Lynn on Twitter at @KenBurns and @LynnNovick.

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Mar 25, 2021

Comedian Jo Koy talks about growing up as a biracial military brat, his mom’s immigrant hustle, and his first taste of the spotlight as a childhood Michael Jackson impersonator.  He recalls selling tickets door to door for his first comedy show, encountering racism in Hollywood, and how he's now paying it forward to other Philippino artists and comedians. Plus Jo talks about embracing our stereotypes, Philippino crucifixion rituals, and why there really are so many Phillipino nurses.

Order Jo Koy's new memoir MIXED PLATE: Chronicles of an All- American Combo on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast the Koy Pond wherever you listen and keep up with him at www.jokoy.com and on twitter at @JoKoy.

 

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Mar 22, 2021

Melissa Bernstein co-founded the wildly successful toy company Melissa & Doug.  You might think that this happily-married mother of 6, who has created over 5,000 toys which have sold over a billion dollars, is always chipper and full of positivity, but Melissa reveals that many days she wonders if she'll make it tomorrow.  She opens up about how her lifelong battle with existential anxiety and depression almost drove her to suicide, why she finally learned to manage it at age 50, and how she’s now on a mission to help other suffering from mental health issues.  Melissa also discusses how she and her husband Doug decided to start a toy company with no prior experience, how their nostalgia for simple, fun wooden toys that fire the imagination 
has turned into a movement supported by The American Academy of Pediatrics, and why Melissa believes that designing toys even saved her life.  

Order Melissa Bernstein's new book LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey from Profound Darkness to Radiant Light on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Find additional resources and support at www.lifelines.com and check out her wonderful line of toys for kids at www.melissaanddoug.com.  Kickass News is launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave in May, and we need your help fund our production slate of all new podcasts for 2021.  Please donate to this exciting new venture at www.gofundme.com/airwave.

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Mar 18, 2021

Former commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis and decorated Marine and novelist Elliott Ackerman envision how a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea could lead to World War III in their disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction titled 2034: A Novel of the Next World War.  They discuss how they came together on this project and the power of fiction to draw attention to real world issues and potential areas of crisis.  Admiral Stavridis talks about the China’s increasingly aggressive moves in the South China Sea and how tensions in this region could potential impact 30% of the world’s shipping.  He also reveals how the pandemic is altering the global balance of power, and Elliott lays out how America’s political divisions may signal the end of the two party system.

Order Stavridis and Ackerman's new book 2034: A Novel of the Next World War on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Elliott Ackerman at www.elliottackerman.com and on Twitter at @elliottackerman.  Follow James Stavridis at www.admiralstav.com and on twitter @stavrisj.  Kickass News is launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave in May, and we need your help fund our production slate of all new podcasts for 2021.  Please donate to this exciting new venture at www.gofundme.com/airwave.

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Mar 17, 2021

It's official!  We're launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave this May!  In addition to Kickass News, Airwave will be the new home for many of your other favorite podcasts.  Airwave will also debut over a dozen original shows hosted by some of the leading thought leaders and storytellers in audio entertainment, including many of my most popular past guests.  

We can't do it without you though!  We need your financial support to fund our full production slate.  Please become a part of this exciting new venture by donating at www.gofundme.com/airwave.  Every penny of your donation will go toward to the production of the most engaging and entertaining new podcasts of 2021.

I’ll be sharing more details about those specific shows and other Airwave news over the next few weeks so follow us on Twitter or Facebook at @AirwavePodcasts.

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Mar 11, 2021

Bestselling author Walter Isaacson (Jobs, Leonardo DaVinci) shares how Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators blazed a trail in a field dominated by men and turned a curiosity of nature into an something that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.  He reveals how the technology known as CRISPR has launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.  Walter talks the controversy over so-called "designer babies," how Doudna and others are leading the way in the fight against Covid-19, and how the pandemic is actually changing opinions about the potential of gene editing our off-spring.  Walter Isaacson also discusses his mission to get people excited about science and the common trait that links all geniuses from Albert Einstein to Leonardo DaVinci.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR, and the Future of the Human Race
on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson wherever you get your podcasts, and follow him on Twitter at @WalterIsaacson.

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Mar 8, 2021

Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience.  He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance, how the HBO YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL changed his life, and the time when a sitcom audition led to his getting cast in the serious TV medical drama SAINT ELSEWHERE. Howie reveals why he originally turned down the offer to host DEAL OR NO DEAL and the anxiety he gets whenever he sees contestants making bad decisions on the show.  He opens up about his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, and how he went from fearing that it might be a career killer to using his fame to raise awareness of mental health issues.  Plus Howie Mandel gives the secret to winning the golden buzzer on AMERICA'S GOT TALENT.

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Mar 4, 2021

Dr. Zahi Hawass is the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara, the Bahariya Oasis, and the Valley of the Kings. He is often referred to as “the real Indiana Jones, and some of his major finds include the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza, the Valley of the Golden Mummies, and multiple undiscovered pyramids.  Now he’s leading the biggest archeological excavation ever attempted in Egypt, and he is documenting the adventure in a new 2-hour special for discovery+ called VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE LOST TOMBS.

Dr. Hawass discusses the logistics of this massive dig in one of Egypt’s most unreachable areas, why he believes that the Western Valley of the Kings is rich in undiscovered tombs, and some of the tantalizing clues that may lead him to Egypt’s most famous queen Nefertiti.  He shares the the most important factor for a successful dig, the role that modern forensic science is playing in identifying mummies, and why even the greatest archeologist still relies on luck and instinct every now and then.  Plus Dr. Hawass opens up about his efforts to repatriate looted Egyptian artifacts, and he dispels myths about King Tut's death, a treasure under the Sphinx, and ancient aliens building the pyramids.

VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE LOST TOMBS is now streaming only on discovery+.  Keep up with Dr Hawass at www.drhawass.com.

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Mar 2, 2021

James Beard Award-winning food writer and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and genocide to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people.  Mark reveals how he first got the world to take food issues seriously, how we can rethink our food distribution systems, and take a different approach to feeding the world’s hungry.  We discuss America's junk food epidemic, how to tell junk from real food, and how government farm subsidies actually incentive the production of food with minimal to no nutritional value.  Plus we get into the impossible burger, lab grown meats, arsenic in the baby food, and Mark's mixed feelings about President Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture.

Order Mark Bittman's book Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his newsletter The Bittman Project at bittmanproject.com and keep up with him at www.markbittman.com and on Twitter at @bittman.

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Feb 26, 2021

Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) talks about his latest film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and how the 1971 movie Lady Sings the Blues inspired him to go into entertainment.  He reveals that he always has a personal connection to each of his films, that The United States vs Billie Holiday was the first movie that he has ever directed sober. and how his own struggle with drugs and alcohol gave him insight into Holiday’s lifelong addiction.  We discuss how the iconic song Strange Fruit that put Billie Holidays in the cross-hairs of a powerful drug agent who was intent on destroying her and why Lee believes that she deserves a place among America’s Civil Rights Heroes.  Plus Lee talks about his upcoming miniseries about another famous black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday streams on Hulu beginning Friday, February 26.   Follow Lee Daniels on Twitter at @leedanielsent.

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Feb 22, 2021

Journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talks about the women who fought ISIS in Syria.  She discusses how the female fighters of Kobani helped to deliver the first blow to the previously unstoppable forces of the Islamic State and how that victory convinced the US that it had a reliable partner against ISIS.  She shares the individual stories of some of the brave women she encountered, including some who rose to command both women and men in combat, and some who were forced to marry ISIS fighters, survived unspeakable brutality, and then went on the defeat ISIS on the battlefield.  Gayle reveals how the women of the Syrian Democratic Forces are now working to establish equality for women in Syrian and throughout one of the most hostile regions for women in the world.  Plus how ISIS reacted when they realized they were getting their butts kicked by a bunch of bad-ass women!

Order Gayle Lemmon’s new book The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Gayle at www.GayleLemmon.com or on Twitter at @GayleLemmon.  

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Feb 20, 2021

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s never thought that their democracy would fall to a bloody dictator, and he says this doesn’t bode well for the U.S.  He discusses why some countries like Germany choose to acknowledge their violent past while others like Indonesia choose to bury it.  Then he warns of two nations currently facing crises Japan, who suffers from crippling national debt and an aging/shrinking population, and the United States, where he says the decline of political compromise and voting rights is eroding our democracy.

Order Jared Diamond's terrific book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. 

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Feb 15, 2021

In this age of insurmountable consumption of media where bad news travels fast from all directions, comedian Tom Papa wants to remind us to take care of ourselves, embrace who you’ve become, and absorb the beauty of life in his new Netflix special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great!  In this February 2020 interview, Tom reveals where his trademark optimism comes from, why he rejects the cynicism often associated with standup comedy, and what he learned about being true to your comedic voice while touring with Jerry Seinfeld.  He opens up about his anxiety over sending his daughter off to college and warning her that most men’s “nice guy act” is a total fraud.  Plus Tom talks about his own real life ghost story, the lie of social media, the myth of "the good old days," and the symbiotic relationship between baking and writing comedy.

Tom’s standup special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great is now streaming on Netflix, and look for his book You're Doing Great in stores May 12.  Visit www.tompapa.com for his upcoming tour dates and follow him on twitter at @TomPapa.

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Feb 11, 2021

True crime documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost) discusses his new Netflix docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.  He explains the dark history of the Cecil Hotel and why the socio-economics of downtown Los Angeles have made it a haven for the downtrodden, desperate, and despicable, including Richard Ramirez aka the Nightstalker.  We talk about the mysterious 2013 disappearance of Canadian college student Elisa Lam, whose body was later found in a tank on the roof that provided the hotel’s water supply, the bizarre elevator footage that fed media speculation around the case, and some of the even more bizarre conspiracy theories propagated by a community of online web sleuths.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is now streaming only on Netflix.  Follow Joe Berlinger on Twitter at @joeberlinger.

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Feb 11, 2021

In this 2018 interview with David Mamet, the Pulitzer-winning writer/director discusses how the old gangster stories he heard as a child inspired him to write CHICAGO: A NOVEL.  He talks about his love of classic noir and hot jazz, and dislike of social media, computers, and flowery prose.  He shares why famous figures are better felt than heard in historical fiction, why he says Hollywood is dead, and why he never reads his own reviews.  He teases his latest play about Harvey Weinstein, and reveals his longing to live as a reporter in the 1920’s and die as a whorehouse piano player with a whiskey and a cigarette.

Order David Mamet's book CHICAGO: A NOVEL on Amazon.

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