Book Review & Giveaway: The Little Gate-Crasher by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

29 Aug

 

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 BugenI 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.

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Little-Gate-Crasher-Life-Photos-Bugen-ebook/dp/B01EH101EC/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Gate-Crasher-Life-Photos-Bugen-ebook/dp/B01EH101EC/

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mace Bugen was an achondroplastic dwarf but he was amazing in that he used his disability to his advantage. I’m sure part of this was because of his mom did all she could for him to make sure he had a good life. Because of his height, he was able to get close to celebrities unnoticed and had a stranger or friend snap a photo of him and the celebrity. He became friends with several of those celebrities. That was his hobby. In business, he was also successful, partly because he knew that people would “feel bad” if they turned him down. 

I enjoyed the photos included in the book with Mace and various celebrities as well as the cars and home that were made to fit his size. The photos were the best part of the book especially since each had a short explanation along with it.  The Little Gate-Crasher is a short book but a good read.

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Author Bio –

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 –

www.gabriellekaplanmayer.com

@rararesources

https://www.facebook.com/littlegatecrasher/

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Giveaway

 Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (Open to US & Canada only)

*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494126/?

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