"He was so close, he could smell them. He didn't want to hurt Hitler. Who would want to hurt Charlie Chaplin? He just wanted to give him a love tap from the Jewish nation." Joshua Sellers and Bobby Gillman have been given the chance of a lifetime. They have made the American Olympic team and are poised to run as Jewish-American athletes in front of Adolf Hitler . The place is Berlin; the time, 1936. An almost certain victory awaits the pair in the 4x100 meters relay. Joshua knows it will make a difference -a victory by Jewish athletes. But what happens to him when he is told on his twenty-first birthday by his own coaches that though he is fit and able, he cannot run in Germany? Racing with irony through the veins of inevitable, bitter, history, brimming with palpable life from the Coney Island shores to the cherry blossomed streets and cabarets of Berlin, Ghost Runners exposes the far-reaching menace of American Anti-Semitism. Whether on a local Berlin train, or at a lavish party at the Air Ministry, Joshua must test his courage against hard truths about the betrayal of an American Dream. Haunted by love for a heroic German-Jewish athlete he left behind, Joshua believes his fate is hers to share, despite the distance or the waning breath of dying memories. What happens to Joshua in the high Southwestern desert? History has passed him by, but wisdom may yet be seen in the hopeful eyes of disabled Native American children. An American always, the hope of the Jewish people becomes a universal anthem for him. A provocative first novel, twenty-five years in the writing, based on real events about the Eleventh Olympiad and the American athletes, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, GHOST RUNNERS is historical fiction with an edge. It hopes to generate a dialogue that needs to be had in order to put that sorry chapter of American history to rest.
Robert J. Rubenstein is a retired teacher and evaluator of children with special needs. He has had articles, short stories, and two children's books published. A single parent with two sons, he lives near Coney Island and likes to swim and get sand on his feet. He travels frequently to the Southwest and likes being a minority among the Native-Americans. GHOST RUNNERS, historical fiction about two Jewish runners not allowed to compete in the 1936 Olympics, has been both his passion and his haunting for the past thirty years. He welcomes comments at RJRubenstein12@yahoo.com. His blog is http://scribblercom.blogspot.com.
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