This is the chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it.
No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city’s Jews and to sabotage the nation’s military installations. Plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Goldwyn; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.
US law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention—preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis—and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call “the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles,” ran a spy operation comprising military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazis’ disturbing plans for death and destruction.
Featuring a large cast of Nazis, undercover agents, and colorful supporting players, Hitler in Los Angeles, by acclaimed historian Steven J. Ross, tells the story of Lewis’ daring spy network in a time when hate groups had moved from the margins to the mainstream.
Download and start listening now!
“Just when you thought every story of the Nazi resistance had been written, this audiobook confirms that there are more. And this book is among the best of the genre. Narrated with intensity by Peter Berkrot…Berkrot’s performance is excellent; he reads with the staccato of a newsreel narrator, while adeptly mixing in moments of awe at how Lewis and his allies outsmarted the Nazis at virtually every turn.”
“A remarkable tale, one that pits a secretive, chess-playing Jewish spymaster—attorney Leon Lewis—and a group of courageous German-American war veteran…against a cast of villains straight out of a classic Warner Bros. film…Ross has a novelist’s eye for characters and detail.”
— Wall Street Journal
“Ross’ engaging history turns up some surprising facts.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Part thriller and all chiller, about how close the California Reich came to succeeding.”
— Los Angeles Times
— Smithsonian magazine
“Ross has a blockbuster revelation.”
— Chronicle of Higher Education
“Ross employs impeccable research and a driving no-holds-barred writing style…reads like an exciting spy novel.”
— New York Journal of Books
“A history book that doubles as espionage thriller with a cast of characters that includes movie stars, studio moguls, entertainment lawyers, diplomats and pols, all of them quite real.”
— Jewish Journal
“A shocking story…Ross puts his experience in film history to good use…A vivid history of homegrown resistance.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“A chilling tale of the Nazi plot to destroy America; the small spy network who helped defeat it; and the official indifference to the threat.”
— Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist
“A truly brilliant history by a superbly talented historian…A damn fine read, a true-life thriller that’s a powerful reminder of how hate, if left to fester, can destroy us all.”
— Alex Kershaw, author of The Longest Winter
“This story has every bit the drama of Roth’s The Plot against America or Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, except it actually happened!”
— David N. Myers, president of the Center for Jewish History
“A true-life thriller about an episode that has been almost completely ignored.”
— Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney
“This little-known chapter of 1930s history—captured by Steven J. Ross with impeccable research and an intriguing narrative—needs to be told.”
— Ted Johnson, senior editor, Variety
Finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in History
Finalist for the 2018 Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Award for Best History Narration
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of Books Now in Paperback
Hitler in Los Angeles Listener Reviews
Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
About Steven J. Ross
Steven J. Ross is professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. He is the author of several books, including Movies and American Society; Hollywood Left and Right, a recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Film Scholars Award; and Working-Class Hollywood, which was nominated for the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
About Peter Berkrot
Peter Berkrot, winner of Audie and Earphones Awards for narration, is a stage, screen, and television actor and acting coach. He has narrated over 450 works that span a range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, thriller, and children’s titles. His audiobook credits include works of Alan Glynn, Eric Van Lustbader, Nora Roberts and Dean Koontz. In film and television, he appeared in Caddyshack, America’s Most Wanted, and Unsolved Mysteries. He performs in regional and New York theaters and directs the New Voices acting school.