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"G. Wayne Miller reports like a demon and writes like an angel, and 'Kid Number One' is a masterful example of his craft. In Millerís hands, the story of Alan Hassenfeldís quirky and ultimately selfless life adventure is an inspiration and a delight.

"Itís a special treat for readers who like their hard-edged business reporting leavened by celebrity guest appearances by Mr. Potato Head, G.I. Joe and the odd dollop of Flubber. A triumph!

-- Kevin Sullivan, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post Senior Correspondent and author of best-selling books 'The Prison Angel' and 'Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland.'

*****

"Kid Number One is an extensively researched, engaging collection of stories that follow the fortunes of one immigrant family - the family that created the Hasbro company which birthed such iconic American toys as Mr. Potato Head.

"G. Wayne Miller begins with a painful account of an anti-Semitic hate crime: in 1903, mobs in the modern country of Moldova rose up to massacre fellow Jewish citizens - men, women and children. As a result, two teenage boys flee to America and settle down in the German-Jewish quarter of New York City (the Lower East Side).

"Fighting against the odds, they rise to fame and fortune, and become the first "Hasbro" brothers - and they bequeath not just wealth but a legacy of commitment to living by the Judaic Tenet of Tikkun Olam (or "repaying the world" and giving back to the human community). This is not, however, an unstinting Eulogy - Miller unflinchingly discusses family strife and decisions that nearly proved distastrous to the business, even as he recounts the successes. When we meet Alan Hassenfeld, we are shown the gentle humor that infused his life and work.

"Yet this is more than a mere historical account of one successful man, family, or company - it is also a set of stories that forces us to examine our current attitudes toward immigration; indeed, in the chapter "Reach for the Stars", Miller explicitly connects his retelling with the politics of today - and this honest questioning, taken together with his tenderly painted portrait of Alan Hassenfeld, a quiet, hard-working, ambitious and yet socially conscious entrepreneur and philanthropist who embodied the American Dream, will leave a lasting impression on the minds of readers."

-- Padma Venkatraman is the best-selling author of The Bridge Home and many other critically acclaimed books.


 

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