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Theodore Mark Gottfried (1928-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

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(Ted Gottfried; pseudonyms: Lorayne Ashton, Kathleen Fuller, Benjamin Kyle)

Personal

Born 1928, in Bronx, NY; stepEducation: University of Miami, B.A.; attended New York School of Journalism, 1947, and New School for Social Research, 1948-49. Religion: Unitarian Universalist.

Addresses

Agent—Richard Curtis Associates, Inc., 164 East 64th St., New York, NY 10021.

Career

Warner Brothers, Inc., New York, NY, publicist, 1947-51; worked as assistant manager of a theater, publicist for Skymaster Airline, and reporter and film reviewer for Boxoffice (magazine), all New York, NY, 1951; Checker Cab Co., New York, NY, cab driver, 1952-55; Premier Peat Moss, New York, NY, advertising manager, 1955; Penthouse Publications, New York, NY, editor, 1956-57; Stearn Publications, New York, NY, 1957-62, began as editor, became managing editor, then executive editor; Westpart Publications, New York, NY, editor of Dude and Gent (magazines), 1963; freelance writer, 1963—; editor of High Society (magazine), 1976-77; Drake Publications, New York, NY, publisher, 1977-78. Has also taught writing and worked with community action groups, including Coalition for the Homeless.

Member

National Writers Union (founding member).

Writings

UNDER NAME TED GOTTFRIED

Georges Clemenceau, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1987.

The House of Diamond, Lynx, 1988.

Enrico Fermi: Pioneer of the Atomic Age, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1992.

Gun Control: Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

The Citadel Treasury of Famous Movie Lines, Carol Publishing Group, 1994.

Libya: Desert Land in Conflict, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Privacy: Individual Right vs. Social Needs, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Alan Turing: The Architect of the Computer Age, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Alexander Fleming: Discoverer of Penicillin, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

The American Media, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Debate, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1997.

Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady of the Twentieth Century, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

James Baldwin: Voice from Harlem, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Pornography: Debating the Issues, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1997.

The Holocaust and Nazi Germany, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1998.

The Holocaust Children, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1998.

The Holocaust Victims, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1998.

Homelessness: Whose Problem Is It?, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

Police under Fire, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

The Israelis and Palestinians: Small Steps to Peace, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Martyrs to Madness: The Victims of the Holocaust, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Nazi Germany: The Face of Tyranny, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Stephen Spielberg: From Reels to Riches, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2000.

Should Drugs Be Legalized?, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Children of the Slaughter: Young People of the Holocaust, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Deniers of the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do It, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Displaced Persons: The Liberation and Abuse of Holocaust Survivors, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Heroes of the Holocaust, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Teen Fathers Today, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson: Champion and Crusader, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

The 2000 Election, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

The Death Penalty: Justice or Legalized Murder?, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

The Road to Communism, illustrated by Melanie Reim, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

The Stalinist Empire, illustrated by Melanie Reim, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Northern Ireland: Peace in Our Time?, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

The Great Fatherland War: The Soviet Union in World War II, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

The Cold War: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Homeland Security Versus Constitutional Rights, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

The Quest for Peace: A History of Anti-War Movements in America, Twenty-First Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2004.

OTHER

(Under pseudonym Benjamin Kyle) Qaddafi (young adult nonfiction), Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1987.

(Under pseudonym Lorayne Ashton) Rebels, Ballantine/Ivy (New York, NY), 1988.

Also author of five books in the "Riverview" series under the pseudonym Kathleen Fuller, for Ballantine/Ivy, 1987-89. Author of adult novels under various pseudonyms. Also author of numerous speeches, articles, reviews, and short stories published in Redbook, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Farmer's Almanac, among others.

Sidelights

Under the name Ted Gottfried, Theodore Mark Gottfried has written numerous thought-provoking nonfiction books for middle grade and high school readers. Gottfried tackles some of the most controversial issues in modern life, including the death penalty, teen parenthood, the legalization of drugs, pornography, and homelessness. Rather than expressing his own opinion, however, Gottfried presents many positions and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions. Gottfried has also written multiple works on the Nazi Holocaust and its emotional and political fallout, as well as a series on the history of the Soviet Union. His books are characterized by concise chapters and sidebars that use historical figures and situations to illustrate his main points. Booklist correspondent Ann O'Malley noted that the value of Gottfried's books lies in "clear, accessible writing style and the presentation of a complex issue … in appropriate fashion for beginning research students."

Gottfried has authored several biographies of prominent twentieth-century individuals, including French politician Georges Clemenceau, American author James Baldwin, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and scientist Alexander Fleming. Georges Clemenceau earned praise for the clarity of the writing style, the attractiveness of the book's format, and the quality of the author's research. Herman Sutter in School Library Journal faulted James Baldwin: Voice from Harlem for its "stale critical analysis" but neverthtless felt that the book offers students "a straightforward introduction" to Baldwin's life and career. Also in School Library Journal, Phyllis Graves called Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady of the Twentieth Century "an objective, easy-to-read biography." Allison Trent Bernstein in School Library Journal commended Alexander Fleming: Discoverer of Penicillin as "a good choice for readers looking for a short biography of an interesting scientist."

Gottfried received similar accolades for his young adult biography, Enrico Fermi: Pioneer of the Atomic Age, a look at one of the scientists who helped to develop the atomic bomb. Todd Morning remarked in School Library Journal: "Gottfried is adept at explaining complex principles of physics," as well as the political situation in Italy at the time Fermi decided to emigrate.

Few authors have been willing to tackle the subject of pornography for a young adult audience. It is particularly difficult to write about a topic with which one presumes children have had scant contact. Pornography: Debating the Issues is Gottfried's attempt to introduce serious students to the issues surrounding the uses and abuses of pornography throughout history. The author includes a chapter on the definition of pornography and how it differs from culture to culture and from one time period to the next. Carol Fazioli in School Library Journal complimented Gottfried for tackling the "thorny subject" but added that the text "gets tangled up in disorganization." Conversely, Anne O'Malley in Booklist felt that the title offers "reasonable, balanced tones" and "clear, accessible writing."

Gottfried's other analyses of controversial topics for young adults, including Gun Control: Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms and Privacy: Individual Right vs. Social Needs, have been lauded for their balanced presentation of the issues, and critics also noted the books' ample documentation. Similarly successful efforts at objectivity and usefulness to students were noted in Gottfried's Libya: Desert Land in Conflict. While Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Roger Sutton found the coverage of some areas too summarized, he also claimed that Gottfried accomplished the difficult job of placing Libya "within an understandable historical and religious context."

Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Debate and The Death Penalty: Justice or Legalized Murder? challenge readers to choose a side literally in a life-or-death decision. Again Gottfried does not allow his own opinion to intrude in the two texts, but rather presents data about law and history, pictures of the instruments of execution, and primary documents both for and against capital punishment. Hazel Rochman in Booklist observed that in Capital Punishment Gottfried "does an excellent job of bringing the discussion right up to the present." School Library Journal correspondent Kim Harris declared The Death Penalty "a competent overview" and felt its presentation to be "well organized."

Few writers have done more to present the Holocaust to young readers than Gottfried. He has written more than a half dozen books on various aspects of the tragedy, from its child victims and its survivors to profiles of the leaders who put the slaughter into action. Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg noted that, taken together, Gottfried's books on Nazi Germany "offer highly readable, comprehensive accounts of the social and political events." In her Booklist review of Children of the Slaughter: Young People of the Holocaust, Hazel Rochman praised Gottfried's "clear, direct prose" and his ability to "present the history without rhetoric or exploitation." In his School Library Journal review of the same title, Jack Forman called the work a "unique and instructive treatent." Considering Deniers of the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do It in Booklist, Hazel Rochman praised the "spacious design, with lots of subheads, photos, and dramatic woodcuts."

Martyrs to Madness: The Victims of the Holocaust covers not only the Nazis' Jewish victims but also the gypsies, homosexuals, handicapped people, and other civilians who were lost to slaughter. In her School Library Journal review of the book, Mary R. Hoffmann noted that Gottfried "has put a fascinating spin on the Holocaust" and added that all of the author's Holocaust titles make "fine additions to Holocaust collections." Gillian Engberg in Booklist also praised the "highly readable, comprehensive accounts" offered in Martrys to Madness.

In addition to his books on the Holocaust, Gottfried has written a four-volume history of the Soviet Union. The

In his collection of historical data and individual stories, Ted Gottfried outlines the reasons for the Nazi ascendancy and the facts about the genocide of the Holocaust as well as speculation about current German-Jewish relations. (Cover art by Stephen Alcorn.)

series begins with The Road to Communism and continues in The Stalinist Empire, The Great Fatherland War: The Soviet Union in World War II, and The Cold War: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union. Roger Leslie in Booklist noted that Gottfried's "historical accounts are accurate, lively, and compelling." Jack Forman in School Library Journal likewise concluded that Gottfried's study "untangles the Byzantine complexities of Russian history while remaining true to the facts." In her School Library Journal appreciation of The Stalinist Empire, Elizabeth Talbot cited the work as "exceptionally well written."

Gottfried continues to present controversial issues in readable books, exploring international issues in Northern Ireland: Peace in Our Time? and The Israelis and Palestinians: Small Steps to Peace, and important domestic topics in The 2000 Election, Teen Fathers Today, and Homeland Security Versus Constitutional Rights. In a School Library Journal review of Teen Fathers Today, Nicole M. Marcuccilli observed that Gottfried "discusses frankly the harsh realities of teen fatherhood and the burdens it presents for the future." School Library Journal correspondent Linda Greengrass called Northern Ireland: Peace in Our Time? "a straightforward history

Covering the era between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gottfried outlines the factors that led to the downfall of communism and historical events and figures key to the times. (Cover art by Melanie Reim.)

of the long-term, religion-based conflict." Students confused about the strange outcome of the 2000 election can find an explanation of George Bush's victory in The 2000 Election. Although School Library Journal contributor Mary Mueller found the book "superficial" and noted that it "may actually confuse some readers," Ilene Cooper in Booklist maintained that "the design of this book is particularly nice."

On one aspect of Gottfried's work many critics seem to agree. They note with regularity, no matter what subject the author tackles, his works make excellent source material for students seeking to do reports, presentations, or beginning studies of history or sociology.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1987, p. 568; September 15, 1994, p. 122; February 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Debate, p. 931; April 15, 1997, Anne O'Malley, review of Pornography: Debating the Issues, p. 1415; May 15, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of James Baldwin: Voice from Harlem, p. 1569; November 15, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady of the Twentieth Century, p. 554; December 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Alexander Fleming: Discoverer of Penicillin, p. 621; April 1, 1999, John Peters, review of Homelessness: Whose Problem Is It?, p. 1397; December 15, 1999, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Police under Fire, p. 777; April 1, 2000, Roger Leslie, review of Should Drugs Be Legalized?, p. 1447; July, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of Martyrs to Madness: The Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi German: The Face of Tyranny, p. 2023; May 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Childrenofthe Slaughter: Young People of the Holocaust and Heroes of the Holocaust, p. 1741; September 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Deniers of the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do It, and Displaced Persons: The Liberation and Abuse of Holocaust Suriviors, p. 94; July, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of The 2000 Election, p. 1840; October 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of The Road to Communism, p. 398; May 1, 2003, Roger Leslie, review of The Cold War, p. 1587.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1994, Roger Sutton, review of Libya: Desert Land in Conflict, p. 287.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1993, p. 1001.

School Library Journal, March, 1988, p. 20; April, 1993, Todd Morning, review of Enrico Fermi: Pioneer of the Atomic Age, p. 146; August, 1993, p. 196; April, 1994, pp. 160-161; July, 1997, Carol Fazioli, review of Pornography: Debating the Issues, p. 104; July, 1997, Herman Sutter, review of James Baldwin, p. 104; July, 1997, Jo-Anne Weinberg, review of Capital Punishment, p. 104; December, 1997, Phyllis Graves, review of Eleanor Roosevelt, p. 137; February, 1998, Allison Trent Bernstein, review of Alexander Fleming: Discoverer of Penicillin, p. 116; September, 1999, Libby K. White, review of Homelessness: Whose Problem Is It?, p. 233; January, 2000, Ann G. Brouse, review of Police under Fire, p. 145; December, 2000, Mary R. Hofmann, review of Martrys to Madness, p. 161; June, 2001, Jack Forman, review of Children of the Slaughter, p. 172; August, 2001, Marcia W. Posner, review of Heroes of the Holocaust, p. 196; December, 2001, Nicole M. Marcuccilli, review of Teen Fathers Today, p. 160; March, 2002, Linda Greengrass, review of Northern Ireland: Peace in Our Time?, p. 250; March, 2002, Kim Harris, review of The Death Penalty: Justice or Legalized Murder?, p. 250; April, 2002, Mary Mueller, review of The 2000 Election, p. 172; November, 2002, Elizabeth Talbot, review of The Stalinist Empire, p. 186; November, 2002, Jack Forman, review of The Road to Communism, p. 186; June, 2003, Beth Jones, review of The Cold War,, p 161; July, 2003, Joyce Adams Burner, review of Teen Fathers Today, p. 79.*

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