Wrong Kind of Money

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The Wrong Kind of Money brings to vivid life Jules Liebling, the patriarch - shrewd, cynical, coming from the shtetls of Russia to scale the ladder of success in the New World. His wife, Hannah Sachs - daughter of a proud German-Jewish clan, who proves to be even more iron-willed than he in seizing and holding power. Her younger sister, with whom Hannah strikes a bargain that puts Jules to shame. Cyril, the son scorned by his father as a playboy. Noah, the "good" son, who is forced to fight to become his own man....
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0525943315 BRAND NEW. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied customers since 1997. We ship daily M-F. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for much ... faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Wrong Kind of Money brings to vivid life Jules Liebling, the patriarch - shrewd, cynical, coming from the shtetls of Russia to scale the ladder of success in the New World. His wife, Hannah Sachs - daughter of a proud German-Jewish clan, who proves to be even more iron-willed than he in seizing and holding power. Her younger sister, with whom Hannah strikes a bargain that puts Jules to shame. Cyril, the son scorned by his father as a playboy. Noah, the "good" son, who is forced to fight to become his own man. Ruth, a daughter on the brink of personal ruin, going from lover to lover and indulgence to indulgence. Noah's non-Jewish wife, who learns to manipulate Wasp society to gain the Lieblings entry into their world. And the young granddaughter who comes home with a beautiful, erotically enticing friend and plunges the family into a crisis they may not survive. Along with his intimately authentic depiction of New York's upper-class ambience, Stephen Birmingham explores the dynamics of an extraordinary family, revealing their remarkable successes and the shameful secrets hidden in shadows of the past.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More than a half-century of evolving disharmony between New York City Jews and gentiles goes under the burning glass in this roman clef from bestselling author Birmingham Carriage Trade. Hannah Liebling, aging CEO of liquor giant Ingrahams, quotes her late husband's adage that "once a man has $10 million he's no longer thought of as being Jewish. He's merely thought of as being rich." But her black-sheep son Cyril is quick to disagree: "If it's the wrong kind of money, and you're the wrong kind of Jew, it makes all the difference in the world." Against a backdrop of all-important social distinctions, Birmingham delivers standard intergenerational soap-opera: Hannah refuses to turn over the corporate reins to good son Noah because he won't let her put her baby sister, Bathy, back on the company payrollbut Noah hates Aunt Bathy because in his college days he caught her in flagrante delicto with his father. In the meantime, courted socially by the snobby trophy spouse of a WASP liquor-bottler, Noah's Catholic wife, Carol, is scheming to gain social standing by being appointed a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum. Stir in the malevolent Yalie author of a campus sex expos, an oversexed teenage prodigy, assorted adulteries, messy sibling secrets, homosexuality, incest, addiction and blackmail; add a sprig of statutory rape; garnish with a dash of homicide, and you have an overspiced, often implausible chronicle of upper-class intrigues that borrows from true-life stories and is sure to generate the right kind of money from Birmingham's fans. Aug.
Kirkus Reviews
Another mesh of family messes set firmly in Birmingham's (Carriage Trade, 1993, etc.) undisputed fief—the glitter of wealth and acidulous class conflict among an insulated enclave of Jewish Manhattanites, either of the self-proclaimed "right sort," or those who moved on up despite an inelegant background.

Birmingham's crowd is all here: the steely matriarch, sons both hale and hopeless, and women wholesome, witchy, or just plain lost. There's also mystery, scandals (with past flashbacks), mean schemes, shouts and whispers. Hannah Liebling (née Sachs) in her mighty eighties, has withheld from hardworking son Noah the CEO- ship of the great Ingraham liquor empire. The business had been founded by her late husband Jules, a tough Canadian ex-bartender, who during Prohibition worked easily with Capone et al. and gave Joe Kennedy a leg up. Hannah's other son, Cyril, had been long ago discarded by Jules, and much married daughter Ruth is into interchangeable boy toys. Meantime, Noah's wife Carol, in their monstrous luxury building, has a full plate. There's her crazy hysteric-religious mother in Kansas; negotiation on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum for a porcelain collection belonging to a descendent of the man who had tried to bar Jules from a "restricted" building years before; attempts to fend off Hannah's many plots to keep Noah under her thumb; and, worst, the full-blown seduction of Noah by his daughter Anne's best friend. (All this while a trendy novelist, who stirs the scrawny bods of the Ladies who Lunch, creeps on his nasty rounds.) Small wonder, then, that so much mischief eventually leads to murder, and the obligatory stunning denouement.

Dark doings in Manhattan castles, done with juicy excess: Titillating pop that reads like a dream.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525943310
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.32 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2004

    SUPER !!

    Birmingham writes such smooth fiction -- with such truly believable characters that you feel like you REALLY know them. Nobody can make you feel like you are 'there' better than this! This one is a fat fabulous read if you like real meat in your stories.

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