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The Books

O'Dwyer & Grady Starring in Acting Innocent
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Lights ... Camera ... Murder

New York City, 1932. Kid actor Billy O'Dwyer's manager is a pretty tough cookie, but it's worth putting up with her to work in pictures. Everything's swell -- that is, until actress Amelia St. Augustine turns up dead. All accusing fingers point toward Roscoe "Chubby" Muldoon, famous actor, all-around good guy, and Billy's best friend and mentor. Billy is sure that Roscoe's innocent, and Virginia Grady, Billy's new co-star, feels the same way.

So Billy and Virginia step out of the spotlight to investigate. After all, there's no place in the city that Billy can't charm his way into. But this mystery has no script, and the stakes are high. If these two stars guess wrong, it could mean the end....

O'Dwyer & Grady Starring in Tough Act to Follow
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Danger, Take Two

New Bedford, Massachusetts. Kid actors Billy O'Dwyer and Virginia Grady are taking an intermission from the fast life in New York City. Sure, they helped solve a murder, but they also managed to shut down the movie studio they worked for. While living with Billy's family for the summer, they plan to put on a show for the neighborhood kids. But things don't unfold according to Billy and Virginia's script. Enter, stage right: a creepy skeleton, a missing treasure, and two squabbling would-be heirs.

When Billy and Virginia set out to locate the treasure, they find themselves center stage in a tangle family drama of rivalry and deceit. The cast of characters included a hobo with big ambitions, a crooked cop gone straight, and a "fisherman" who hauls ashore something much more valuable than fish. Billy and Virginia know somebody'd putting on an act. What they don't know is that their repeat performance as detectives could bring down the final curtain ... on themselves.

Tobacco U.S.A.: The Industry Behind the Smoke Curtain
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The tobacco industry was, for decades, among the most powerful in the United States. From the 1950s through the 1980s, while thousands of scientific studies showed cigarettes to be potentially lethal, tobacco executives insisted there was no proof that their product was harmful. Bolstered by huge profits, cigarette companies continued to market aggressively and pour money into lawmakers' campaign coffers. But on July 21, 1997, the top executive of the Liggett Tobacco Company testified in a Florida court that cigarettes are addictive and cause deadly illnesses. No tobacco executive had made such a public admission before, and the door was opened for health care professionals and the government to call the industry to accountability.

This book examines the politics and economics of tobacco, tracing the industry's history and taking an inside look at the world of the tobacco farmer. The complex tale involves the marketing strategies aimed at young smokers, the growing public awareness of the health peril, the global expansion of American cigarette companies, and the legal challenges that have battered those companies.

For years the companies known collectively as Big Tobacco managed to avoid regulation and overcome lawsuits. But in the 1990s, the shift in public sentiment brought tobacco executives to the negotiating table at last.

Adolf Hitler

The name Adolf Hitler has become synonymous with evil. For decades after Hitler's reign as dictator of Germany, those who had served in his Schutzstaffel, or SS, were hunted down and tried. Millions of survivors of Hitler's genocide lived with the haunting memories of their own suffering and of the loved ones who died. The world reeled with the revelation of atrocities committed in the name of Hitler's Third Reich.

How did Germany let itself be led for twelve years by a mass murderer? Why did the world stand by while Europe fell to the Nazis and while millions of Jews and others were tortured and killed? This book takes a hard look at these questions.

Germany's transformation under Hitler's regime was deftly orchestrated, swift, and insidious. Most Germans — and the rest of the world — did not have a full picture of his master plan until it was too late. Even then, many nations remained reluctant to fight another war. The persistence of anti-Semitism in the United States and other countries contributed to Hitler's unchecked rise as well.

In the end, readers are left with the hardest questions of all: Will any nation let another Hitler rise to power? Will the world recognize in time the significance of attacks on a minority group's civil rights? And, most important, what will we collectively do about it?

Children of the Swastika: The Hitler Youth

"You are destined to be the leaders of a glorious new order," Adolf Hitler told the young people of Germany in 1938. This was the calculated appeal that masked the Nazi leader's plan to mold the youth of a nation to his will. His main tool would be the Hitler Youth, an organization that began as one of many German youth groups in the 1920s. Soon after Hitler came to power in 1933, all other groups were disbanded. By the time World War II broke out in 1939, membership in the Nazi group was compulsory. German boys were taught that the highest honor was to fight for their country. German girls were taught that their role was to bear strong sons. All were taught that they owed unquestioning loyalty to Hitler &8212 even if that meant turning in parents who made anti-Nazi remarks.

The youth programs mixed fun with indoctrination, holding sports competitions, camping trips, holiday celebrations, and rallies. Gradually, the youth of Germany were also drawn into police work, propaganda, population resettlement, agriculture, and the military. By 1944, boys as young as 15 were flung into battle.

Hitler exploited the idealism of Germany's young people so he could harness their exuberant energy for his cause. Built on extensive research, including interviews with former Hitler Youth members, this book helps shed light on the events that led a generation to give up the right of independent thought.