Rappleye, Charles

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Rappleye, Charles

PERSONAL:

Married Tulsa Kinney.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Los Angeles, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Journalist, editor, and writer. Artillery magazine, cofounder; previously worked as an editor at LA Weekly.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best book of 2006, American Revolution Round Table, and George Washington Book Prize for best book on the colonial era, both 2006, both for Sons of Providence.

WRITINGS:

(With Ed Becker) All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.

Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

A longtime journalist who has written about media, law enforcement, and organized crime, Charles Rappleye collaborated with private detective Ed Becker on his first book, All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story. The book follows Rosselli's life as a young immigrant from Italy who began working for the notorious Al Capone and became a leader in organized crime well into the 1970s, when he was murdered. The authors trace the Mafioso's career to Hollywood and the film industry, Las Vegas, and even to the political powers in Washington. "The biography will be much discussed," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor.

In his next book, a solo effort titled Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution, Rappleye tells the story of John and Moses Brown, brothers from a wealthy family who were diametrically opposite in their viewpoints and activities associated with slavery. While John worked in and defended the slave trade, Moses was an early abolitionist and wrote the first Federal law in America banning slave trading. Ironically, the first person convicted under the law was his brother John. Comparing Sons of Providence to Brown's first book, All American Mafioso, Washington Post Book World contributor Jonathan Yardley noted: "The leap from the Mafia to colonial New England is a long one, but Rappleye makes it with style. He is a diligent researcher … and a fair-minded, unjudgmental chronicler of the Browns' complicated story."

Other reviewers also commended Rappleye for his history of the Brown brothers and their conflict. "Rappleye … skillfully details the complex relationship between these brothers," wrote David S. Reynolds in the New York Times Book Review. Referring to the book as "incisive," a Publishers Weekly contributor went on to write that Sons of Providence "provides unique insight into the festering wound of slavery." Several reviewers also noted how the Browns' saga not only reflects much of the internal struggle of America's attitudes concerning slavery but also a broader struggle that has persisted throughout American history. For example, Vernon Ford, writing in Booklist, commented that the story "reflects on many issues that remain American dilemmas: the balance between commercial and religious and political ideals."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2006, Vernon Ford, review of Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution, p. 29.

Library Journal, September 1, 1991, Gregor A. Preston, review of All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story, p. 213; May 15, 2006, Robert Flatley, review of Sons of Providence, p. 112.

New York Times Book Review, May 14, 2006, David S. Reynolds, review of Sons of Providence.

Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1991, review of All American Mafioso, p. 95; March 27, 2006, review of Sons of Providence, p. 70.

Washington Post Book World, June 11, 2006, Jonathan Yardley, review of Sons of Providence, p. BW02.

ONLINE

Anchor Rising Blog,http://www.anchorrising.com/ (May 24, 2006), Carroll Andrew Morse, "History: Charles Rappleye, The Sons of Providence, Slavery, and American History," interview with author.

Charles Rappleye Home Page,http://www.rapwest.com (May 23, 2007).

Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (May 23, 2007), brief profile of author.

Virginia Quarterly Review,http://www.vqronline.org/ (May 23, 2007), brief profile of author.