Bob Batchelor is the author of Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel, a finalist for the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction. His next book is Bourbon King: The Epic Rise and Fall of George Remus, America’s Bootleg Baron, and the Roaring Days of the Jazz Age (Diversion Books). Bourbon King is the rollicking tale of Cincinnati criminal genius George Remus, the bootleg king who turned Prohibition on its ear and served as an inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald as he wrote The Great Gatsby. Bourbon King will be published in October 2019 for the 100th anniversary of Prohibition and the Volstead Act. A noted cultural historian, Bob’s 29 books written or edited include: John Updike: A Critical Biography, Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Dylan: A Concise Biography, and Mad Men: A Cultural History. He teaches in the Media, Journalism & Film department at Miami University.
Bourbon King: The Epic Rise and Fall of George Remus, America’s Bootleg Baron, and the Roaring Days of the Jazz Age
Considered the J.D. Rockefeller of bourbon, George Remus created a national bootlegging network from his Cincinnati headquarters, raking in some $200 million dollars (about $2.5 billion today). Later, Remus stood at the center of the Jazz Age’s “trial of the century” after he murdered his wife Imogene in cold-blood after a car chase that ended at Cincinnati’s Eden Park. This is a spectacular story of bourbon, betrayal, murder, and the 13-year folly of Prohibition in America!
Prohibition: The 100th Anniversary
This talk focuses on the brief life and death of Prohibition in America and the far-reaching consequences for the nation then and now. Featuring an array of famous and infamous Ohioans and scenes from the state during the dry years, from President Warren G. Harding to bootlegging king George Remus, the talk examines Ohio’s central role in Prohibition. Corruption, illegal booze, tommy guns, and colorful characters make this an entertaining and insightful look at one of the nation’s most interesting eras.
The Decade that Roared: The Jazz Age in America and Why It Matters
Always provocative and interesting, the Jazz Age continues to delight history buffs and audiences who have fallen in love with the glitz, glamour, and intrigue of America’s most glittering era. Offering deep insight into the colorful characters, films, literature, and newspaper headlines of the day, this talk reveals the hidden history of the decade that roared and why it still matters today.
Heroes and Villains: The Marvel Century
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and a team of hungry artists and writers reimagined comic book superheroes in the early 1960s. They created heroes like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and others in a creative flurry that revolutionized comic books. Marvel’s heroes and villains won the hearts of readers because they had everyday problems and lives that seem connected to their readers, like Spider-Man’s teen angst or the Hulk’s anger issues. Popular culture would never be the same! This engaging talk examines the rise and enduring influence of Marvel on modern America, from the humble comic book beginnings to the current movie franchise that has generated billions of dollars and delighted countless fans around the world.
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