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The Minuteman

Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
Categories: History, American
4 out of 5 stars (4,401 ratings)

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Our favorite moments from The Minuteman

Recruited by the mob
His presence was undeniable.
A gross technical error

  • The Minuteman
  • Recruited by the mob
  • The Minuteman
  • His presence was undeniable.
  • The Minuteman
  • A gross technical error

About the Creator

Greg Donahue is a writer and documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared in Atavist Magazine, The Guardian, Discovery, Vice, Al Jazeera, and Marie Claire, among others. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.

About the Performer

Jonathan Davis is a critically acclaimed narrator and voice-over actor. Jonathan's work as a narrator includes films and programming for National Geographic Television, NOVA, and PBS. He has narrated over 500 audiobooks, a variety of bestsellers, and award-winners for the top publishing houses and national audio divisions, including over 40 titles of the Star Wars franchise. Jonathan has participated with Star Wars Celebration and has built a significant fan base. He is a three-time recipient and 16-time nominee of the celebrated Audie Award, presented for excellence in audiobook narration. His work has been acclaimed by The New York Times, AudioFile Magazine, and USA Today. In 2017, Jonathan was inducted into Audible's Narrator Hall of Fame.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,984
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    634
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    194
  • 1 Stars
    108

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but not great

I had actually been pretty ignorant to how much traction the Nazi movement had gained here in the US leading up to WWII, so in that way I found this story fairly interesting as I’ll definitely dig into that a bit further. Overall however I found myself disengaged in the story. On one hand, Arno and The Minutemen stood up against the evils of Naziism and anti-semitism, which I applaud, but on another hand, is violence ever really the answer? I do like how the author sums it up in the end as we either see him as a thug or a hero, because that’s certainly the two perspectives I wavered between while listening, but it’s also why I didn’t really enjoy the story.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disjointed

This short story bordered on interesting and valuable information, but the narrative jumped around in a non-constructive way.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I couldn’t...

really get invested in the story. Maybe my fault but it just didn’t get my attention.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great listen for history fans

great story, and one I'd never heard of. Excellent freebie! sans of Peaky Blinders, Inglorious Bastards and Boardwalk Empire will enjoy this.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Such an enlightening book. I wish it were even longer, so much could be told.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Done Introduction to an Ambivalent History

This one is so up my alley (or, as the case may be, down my dark alley) that I can’t be neutral about it.

In this case, that’s a good thing. I could easily get irritated with someone who didn’t know what he was doing in narrating a history of a Jewish boxer/gangster who set out to attack Nazi Bundists in the 1930s. Instead, Greg Donahue does this with a real flair for narrative and without the can-you-believe-there-were-tough-Jews tone that many lesser writers might have brought.

The result here is the riveting story of Nat Arno, a Longy Zwillman tough guy charged with leading the Minutemen, a group of Jewish shtarkers who broke up Bund meetings throughout Newark, NJ and greater New York City area.

The idea of such characters isn’t new – Robert Rockaway wrote about many of them from across the country in his But – He was Good to His Mother years ago. But this book (or long booklet) is a valuable addition to that history. I knew that Zwillman contributed a lot to anti-Bundist work, but I’d never heard of Arno, and I’d certainly never seen his story so focused.

In addition to recounting a battle after battle chronicle of Arno’s life, Donahue raises some intriguing questions about the nature of Jewish self-defense. The nature of the story inclines him to see it as a good thing – he appreciatively quotes Jewish gangster authority Myron Sugarman saying that, if Jews had always defended themselves in such a way there’d be no anti-Semitism – but Donahue does raise the opposite perspective. There are many in the Jewish community who continue to believe that anti-anti-Semitic violence does more harm than good.

In a compelling wrap-up, Donahue reflects on how long it took for the Jewish community to acknowledge Arno’s accomplishments, and he sees it as a reflection of the deep ambivalence about his approach.

This one is short, probably too short to raise those larger questions in full, but it’s perhaps the finest I have read of the free books Audible gives out each month for members. An impressive job, and a good way to glimpse a larger history that I’ve worked to tell myself.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Better Story Than Storytelling

The story is better than the storytelling. Somewhat dry account, but the material is dripping with excitement and intrigue begging to be explored further. Maybe I’ll read the other book referenced multiple times within this text, which I assume goes more into these events. Narrator is good. [AUDIBLE]

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

History I Didn’t Know

Fascinating! I always enjoy learning new things and this story was definitely enlightening. A short and riveting listen.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great slice of hidden history

My father was born precisely one year before Nat Arno. He lived across the river in NYC, and he also had mob ties (he was a pharmacist who made safe quality bathtub gin due to his chemistry background). So it was fun to picture this time and place. And it was exciting and informative to see Jews fight back against the Nazis.

Intriguing story for anyone interested in history, but especially for Jews. Well narrated and never dull.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and history, told very well!

The narrator did such a great job telling the story of a fairly unknown man. A hero that we were lucky to have. Thank you Audible for sharing this story!

3 people found this helpful