Sander, Gordon F.
Sander, Gordon F.
Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1973.
Writer and photographer.
Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
(With Damon Schechter) Delivering the Goods: The Art of Managing Your Supply Chain, J. Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2002.
The Frank Family That Survived: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey, Hutchinson (London, England), 2004, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2007.
Contributor to newspapers and magazines.
The Frank Family That Survived: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey was the subject of a BBC radio program.
Gordon F. Sander earned positive reviews, as well as some controversy, for Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man, an unauthorized biography of writer Rod Serling. Best known as the creator of the television science-fiction series The Twilight Zone, Serling also created Night Gallery. Serling wrote many Twilight Zone episodes himself, and insisted on high creative standards for the series, which won critical acclaim and dealt with serious social themes. In fact, as the biography makes clear, it was Serling's treatment of controversial subjects, such as racism, that eventually led to the cancellation of the series.
Gene Grey, writing in the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, noted that the book did not please some Serling fans, who felt that Sander's depiction of his subject was too negative. Grey also questioned Sander's assertion that Serling abandoned television writing because it was not as lucrative as the motion picture work that Serling later took up. Though he praised Sander's research, Grey commented that the book seems to skew some information in order to be more commercially attractive. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly, however, praised Sander for doing "a fine job" of chronicling Serling's life, even if he "is perhaps too generous in his assessment of Serling's contributions to literature." Carlin Romano, writing in the Albany Times Union, noted that Serling's last years were filled with humiliations, including charges that he plagiarized work by other science-fiction writers, and also appearances in commercials and other programming that damaged his status. About these years, Romano observed, "Sander remains sympathetic but blunt."
Sander draws on his own family history in The Frank Family That Survived: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey. The book recounts the experiences of his mother, Dorrit, and her family in Amsterdam in the early 1940s. Though the Franks lived in uneasy coexistence with Nazi occupying forces for a brief period, in 1942 Dorrit's father was ordered to hand his daughters over to the police so that they could be processed as laborers for the Reich. Instead, Myrtil Frank installed his family in an apartment in The Hague which had been loaned to them. Living in this apartment, they were able to survive the war—which lasted another 1,036 days—without being betrayed by their neighbors. In the view of Library Journal contributor Maria C. Bagshaw, "This well-written narrative adds considerably to the body of Dutch Holocaust literature." The book became a best seller in Europe, and was the subject of a radio program broadcast on the BBC.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albany Times Union, February 21, 1993, Carlin Romano, review of Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man.
Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, March 7, 1993, Gene Grey, "Serling Fans Think Author Was Too Grim."
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June 1, 2005, W. Feigelman, review of The Frank Family That Survived: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey, p. 1889.
Contemporary Review, February 1, 2005, review of The Frank Family That Survived, p. 124.
Cornell University Chronicle, March 30, 2007, George Lowery, "Passed Over: Alum Discusses His Book on a Frank Family That Survived the Holocaust."
Food Technology, December 22, 1993, review of Serling, p. 978.
Journal of Popular Culture, June 22, 1993, review of Serling, p. 205; June 22, 1993, Peter Wolfe, review of Serling, p. 205.
Library Journal, October 1, 1992, David M. Turkalo, review of Serling, p. 90; May 1, 2007, Maria C. Bagshaw, review of The Frank Family That Survived, p. 86.
Publishers Weekly, September 7, 1992, review of Serling, p. 85; December 20, 1993, review of Serling, p. 66.
Times Literary Supplement, March 11, 2005, Samantha Ellis, review of The Frank Family That Survived, p. 29.
City Paper, http://www.balticsww.com/tali.htm/ (April 19, 2008), author profile.
Cornell University Press Web site,http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/ (April 19, 2008), author profile.