|Pages/Publication Date:||436 / 2018|
All his life, journalist Walter Shapiro discounted his family's outlandish stories that his great-uncle Freeman was a vaudeville manager, boxing promoter, filmmaker, stock swindler, card shark, and self-proclaimed "Jade King of China." As Shapiro reveals here, his research later unearthed an even more unique story, culminating in 1937, when Freeman was arrested by the LAPD outside of Mae West's apartment in Hollywood. The charge was grand larceny; Freeman had promised to ship 35 tons of embargoed Canadian nickel to der Führer, but when it arrived, the Germans found only scrap metal and tin. It was a blow to their economy and war preparations—and as Shapiro explains, Hitler did not take the bait-and-switch lightly.