I am reading, Rebbe, a hefty 2529 iphone pages. It’s comparable in depth and size to another biography I read last year, Sinatra: The Chairman, coming in at 3386 pages. Add to that my recent marathon watching the 10-hour documentary epic on ViceLand, OJ: Made In America. Three magisterial biographies, three larger than life men, three recurring motifs of boundaries, dominance, and intrigue.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the messianic figure who transformed his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations in the Jewish world. Rebbe explores Schneerson’s overarching philosophies, his influence on a variety of world leaders through his private nightly one-on-one meetings, and the process of transformation as he moved from spiritual leader to savior archetype.
Frank Sinatra’s unforgettable talent defined 20th century in American high-life. He was a true masterful genius of the musical note, unceasingly combining the best material, musicians, arrangers, and producers for the finest possible version of each of his songs, at the same time being a deeply flawed, erratic, callow, and thuggish personality.
O.J.: Made In America is a sobering epic that redefines domestic abuse, police investigation, race relations and the criminal justice system. The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman on the evening of June 13, 1994 remain officially unsolved but Simpson was later found liable for their deaths in civil court and then went on to commit nefarious other crimes that led to his incarceration.
These defining cultural tales of modern America are extraordinary on many levels- a rich methodical deconstruction of not just each man but his environment, community and society that created him. It will take hours upon hours to ponder and digest this powerful collection of unshakeable, and haunting stories about America, society and ourselves but trust me, it’s worth it.