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March
21

March 21

Jewish Dynasties: The Morgenthaus

Power, Privilege and The Rise of a New York Dynasty

with Andrew Meier

An outlier among the German Jewish immigrants to New York, the Morgenthau patriarch, Lazarus, didn’t escape poverty for vague dreams of riches in the New World: he arrived intent on rebuilding the fortune he’d made – and lost – manufacturing cigars and cigar boxes in Germany when the U.S. banned the export of tobacco during the Civil War.

Part entrepreneur, part confidence man, he failed miserably – his last attempt being a townhouse dressed up a wedding hall for orphans, for whom he ostensibly solicited dowries, was shut down by the police.

But the next generations of Morgenthaus not only made money but history – and the story of how and what they did is the basis of Andrew Meier’s extraordinary new volume, Morgenthau, tracing the journey of three generations behind Lazarus: the accomplishment of son Henry, who amassed the family fortune by become one of New York’s real estate barons before being appointed U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; of his son Henry, confidant of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, U.S. Treasury Secretary and dogged antagonist of those intent on keeping Jewish refugees from American shores during World War II; and of Robert Morgenthau, the longest-serving district attorney in the history of the State of New York.

Meier joins us to discuss the Morgenthau dynasty, from Lazarus’ relationship to Temple Emanu-El, to Henry’s hesitation to accept the “Jewish” ambassadorship to the Ottoman Empire and  Robert Morgenthau’s prosecution of John Lennon’s killer, Robert Chambers and Tupac Shakur, as well as his vindication of the five men convicted of murdering the Central Park Jogger.

Journalist Andrew Meier is the author of three previous books and a regular contributor to national and international publications. A commentator on the BBC, CNN, and NPR, he has reported for PBS television documentaries and co-directed the Netflix documentary, Our Godfather.

In conversation with Marie Brenner, author, journalist and writer for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and the Boston Herald.
Tuesday, March 21 | 
6:30 pm Eastern
Free
$18 includes a copy of the book
Free
$18 includes a copy of the book

In-Person & Virtual Event

 

Covid-19 Policy: 
Masks are no longer required but are available to those who request.

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Tuesday, March 21 | 
6:30 pm
Free
$18 includes a copy of the book
Free
$18 includes a copy of the book

An outlier among the German Jewish immigrants to New York, the Morgenthau patriarch, Lazarus, didn’t escape poverty for vague dreams of riches in the New World: he arrived intent on rebuilding the fortune he’d made – and lost – manufacturing cigars and cigar boxes in Germany when the U.S. banned the export of tobacco during the Civil War.

Part entrepreneur, part confidence man, he failed miserably – his last attempt being a townhouse dressed up a wedding hall for orphans, for whom he ostensibly solicited dowries, was shut down by the police.

But the next generations of Morgenthaus not only made money but history – and the story of how and what they did is the basis of Andrew Meier’s extraordinary new volume, Morgenthau, tracing the journey of three generations behind Lazarus: the accomplishment of son Henry, who amassed the family fortune by become one of New York’s real estate barons before being appointed U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; of his son Henry, confidant of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, U.S. Treasury Secretary and dogged antagonist of those intent on keeping Jewish refugees from American shores during World War II; and of Robert Morgenthau, the longest-serving district attorney in the history of the State of New York.

Meier joins us to discuss the Morgenthau dynasty, from Lazarus’ relationship to Temple Emanu-El, to Henry’s hesitation to accept the “Jewish” ambassadorship to the Ottoman Empire and  Robert Morgenthau’s prosecution of John Lennon’s killer, Robert Chambers and Tupac Shakur, as well as his vindication of the five men convicted of murdering the Central Park Jogger.

Journalist Andrew Meier is the author of three previous books and a regular contributor to national and international publications. A commentator on the BBC, CNN, and NPR, he has reported for PBS television documentaries and co-directed the Netflix documentary, Our Godfather.

In conversation with Marie Brenner, author, journalist and writer for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and the Boston Herald.

In-Person & Virtual Event

 

Covid-19 Policy: 
Masks are no longer required but are available to those who request.

Jewish Dynasties

About the series

For New York Jews, the names Lehman, Goldman, Loeb, Sachs and Guggenheim conjure up American Jewish royalty; German immigrants who clawed their way out of tenements into Park Avenue mansions.

But theirs are not the stories of all Jewish dynasties. Join us to learn about the other crowd!

March 14: The Sassoons
March 21: The Morgenthaus 
March 28: The Safras

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