Art & Photography Books:

Double-Edged Sword

The Many Lives of Hemingway's Friend, the American Matador Sidney Franklin



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Double-Edged Sword by Bart Paul
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Sidney Franklin (1903-76) was the last person you'd expect to become a bullfighter. The streetwise son of a Russian Jewish cop, Sidney had an all-American boyhood in early twentieth-century Brooklyn-while hiding the fact that he was gay. A violent confrontation with his father sent him packing to Mexico City, where first he opened a business, then he opened his mouth-bragging that Americans had the courage to become bullfighters. Training with iconic matador Rodolfo Gaona, Sidney's dare spawned a legend. Following years in small-town Mexican bullrings, he put his moxie where his mouth was, taking Spain by storm as the first American matador. Sidney's 1929 rise coincided with that of his friend Ernest Hemingway's, until a bull's horn in a most inappropriate place almost ended his career-and his life. Bart Paul illuminates the artistry and violence of the mysterious ritual of the bulls as he tells the story of this remarkable character, from Franklin's life in revolutionary Mexico to his triumphs in Spain, from the pages of Death in the Afternoon to the destructive vortex of Hemingway's affair with Martha Gellhorn during the bloody Spanish Civil War. This is the story of an unlikely hero-a gay man in the most masculine of worlds who triumphed over prejudice and adversity as he achieved what no American had ever accomplished, teaching even Hemingway lessons in grace, machismo, and respect.

Author Biography

Bart Paul has been a critic for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, a writer of documentaries on subjects as diverse as President Truman, Masada, and Nazi atrocities in Poland, and an anthologized writer of short fiction. He lives outside Los Angeles where he raises horses and children.
Release date Australia
December 1st, 2009
Country of Publication
United States
University of Nebraska Press
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