Item description for 12th And Mcgraw by Forrest Haskell...
12th & McGraw is the story of Forrest Haskell, Jr. and his coming of age immersed in the Detroit rackets in the1940's. His father, Forrest Haskell, Sr., having been born into near poverty and abused as a child, had acquired a tremendous thirst for wealth. In his quest for riches he operated many different types of businesses, some legal and others not. From a young age Forrest, Jr. worked along side his father and struggled with the corruption, violence, and evil that surrounded him. During these years he encountered many strange and unique characters who had been hired to help run the racketeering and other business operations.
His greatest challenge was dealing with the fallout from his father's double life. For over 50 years Forrest Sr. alternated each night between two separate families. This led to a lifelong identity crisis for young Forrest that haunts him even today. 12th & McGraw chronicles incidents of gun play, a secret language, and a custom-made automobile that was used as a rolling bank. It reveals, in detail, each of the racketeering businesses including the "Blind Pigs," bookmaking, numbers operations, loan sharking, and influence peddling that were commonplace in Detroit and all across the country during that era.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.3" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jul 30, 2004
ISBN 1929976291 ISBN13 9781929976294
Availability 0 units.
More About Forrest Haskell
Born in downtown Detroit to an immigrant mother and on the wrong side of the tracks, Forrest spent his childhood involved with his dad in the illegal rackets, mainly booking horses, loan sharking and the numbers. A few years after graduating from Northwestern High School, he was drafted into the US Army and spent over two years as a military policeman and helicopter pilot in Germany. When his tour of duty was over, he met a green-eyed beauty and, after only a three-month whirlwind courtship, married her. As luck would have it, upon answering a newspaper ad to sell copy machines for the 3-M company he got the job and it changed his life. Haskell stayed in the copy machine business for over thirty years and, being a good salesman, became very successful business owner. His writing career began with the publication of his childhood memoir as the son of a Detroit gangster, 12th & McGraw.
Reviews - What do customers think about 12th And Mcgraw?
What our father's teach us! Jul 26, 2007
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/07)
I was immediately drawn into "12th & McGraw." In this autobiography, Forrest Haskell, Jr., tells the story of life with his father, Forrest Haskell, Sr. Although it was not an easy life, it was an incredibly interesting life. His father became successful by running several illegal operations. These included bootlegging, gambling, and loan sharking. The characters involved with his dad were incredibly interesting in their eccentricities. I really enjoyed reading about these people; they contributed to bringing the story to life. Mr. Haskell does an excellent job of describing these people and the places that they frequented.
Mr. Haskell's father was raised by an unstable, verbally-abusive man. He chose to be a different kind of father. He raised Mr. Haskell with a good self-esteem and the belief that he could accomplish anything. This was really positive. Mr. Haskell passed this gift down to his own children. He also made the choice, as an adult, not to follow in his father's footsteps by getting involved in his illegal operations. His father was a good man in that he let his son make his own decisions. He wasn't so good in providing his son with a stable home environment. The mother of Forrest, Jr. was married to someone else when his father came into his life. His father was also married to another woman. Both women had to share him. This was incredibly painful for the women and their children.
"12th & McGraw," is an incredibly interesting story that also offers several lessons on life. Parenting is a big one. Mr. Haskell, Jr. chose the positive aspects of his fathers parenting skills. He also learned from the painful lessons that his father taught in regards to the relationships. All of the children and the two mothers had to live with the pain of having to share their dad. As his dad slowed down later in life, he expressed regrets over the damage that he caused from his decisions. He also made peace with his own father prior to his death. This part of the story made me reflect upon my own life and realize that I need to live my life in such a way that I don't have huge regrets at the end. His father was sure that he was going to hell. That is not a very peaceful way to be at the end. He had a great adventure getting to this point in his life.
I highly recommend this book. It would make a great Father's Day gift for a man that loves to read. I am really happy that I had a chance to enjoy "12th & McGraw."
Fitzgerald Would Be Proud Aug 23, 2004
A very good piece of non-fiction can found in Forrest Haskell's, 12th & McGraw. Haskell, a first-time scribe, immerses himself deep within his memories and returns with a story of if not better days, certainly different days; days responsible for exactly who and what Haskell is and perhaps isn't. It's ballsy move, laying your life out for public inspection, but coming from where Haskell comes from, it's the stand-up thing to do. 12th and McGraw is not the underworld send-up some may suggest, instead it is a fascinating slice of Americana. It is the story of a man, a boy and ulitimately a boy who became a man. 12th and McGraw, Forrest Haskell's midnight confession.
I Wish I Had Been Involved in the Editing.... Aug 5, 2004
12th & McGraw is one of those books that grabs you and won't let go! Because I know the author and his wife as wonderful acquaintances (and we would be good friends if we could spend more time together) I know the life he lived as a youngster still impacts him today. I can not imagine living through the adventures he describes, but they are certainly fun to read about. My ONLY criticism of the book is that it could use some additional editing. Having been a journalist all my life, I read everything entirely too critically. This book is not the only one I'd like to get my hands on. When Forrest talks of his lovely and wonderful wife "Nancy," he doesn't exaggerate at all. She's a living doll and, together, they have made a wonderful life for themselves and their family. I know that to be true. This book is exciting and Forrest has the ability to put his reader right in the middle of all the action. Give it a try. You won't be sorry.
12th & McGraw- an unusual story! Jul 27, 2004
Today, with the advent of self-published books there has been a proliferation of the personal narrative. It seems that everyone wants to join the bandwagon and recount his or her life story.
The early chapters of 12th & McGraw, authored by Forrest Haskell Jr., gets off to a great start and succeeds in immediately hooking the reader. Forrest Haskell Jr. grew up in a tough Detroit neighborhood in the 40s and 50s born out of wedlock of a union between his French mother and her American lover, Forrest Haskell Sr. Although Forrest Sr. possessed incredible entrepreneurial skills, he was throughout his life involved in illicit criminal activities such as loan sharking, gambling, boot legging, bribing public officials, income tax evasion, and a slew of others. In addition, he also lived a double life fathering several children, while living alternatively on different days of the week with two women for over fifty years. One of these women was the author's mother. Ironically he could never be accused of bigamy, as he was only legally married to one of the women. Nonetheless, Forrest Sr. treated both women with equal respect and fulfilled his fatherly obligations to both of his families.
There is no shortage of interesting characters in the book. At times you think that some of these individuals associated with Forrest Sr. were out of a Damon Runyon novel. One character in particular, Harry, would be comical if his life did not end so tragically. It seems that Harry had black rotten teeth worn down to the gums and he covered them with white adhesive tape. In fact, they were in such a horrible condition that he drank goats' milk, as he was unable to chew on solid food. Unfortunately, he passed away as a result of blood poisoning.
The problem I found with this book is that it wanes toward the concluding chapters where the author seems to lose focus. He fails to elucidate why he did not follow in his father's footpath into a life of crime. We are informed that the author was very successful in his business as a distributor of photocopying machines, and that some of his father's entrepreneurial skills probably had rubbed off on him. Nonetheless, he never considered pursuing the same life style as his father. Personal narratives in order to be effective must clearly connect the meaning of experiences and how they played a role in the narrator's character. Although, the author does state from time to time that he did not exactly condone his father's criminal activities and also did not wish to inherit his money, he fails to show what was extraordinary or special about his experiences that would invoke universal interest. The reader is left with more questions than answers upon completion of the book's reading.