I love the new TCM documentary, Moguls & Movie Stars. The first installment of seven, Peepshow Pioneers, illuminated that the forerunners to motion pictures, called magic-lantern shows, dated back to the late 1600s and detailed the earliest days of “modern” film making.
I have just read an excellent and compelling book, The Deeds of My Fathers. A family memoir written by a grandson, the first part is about a poor and ruthless immigrant boy, Generoso Pope, who became a business titan and major political power in the 1920s until his death in 1950 — while befriended by mob boss Frank Costello and supporting Mussolini. The second part focuses on his son, Gene Pope, Jr. Originally financed by Costello, he created the National Enquirer. As Frank Costello was also a mentor of Hollywood gangster Mickey Cohen, about whom I have just completed a forthcoming book, MICKEY COHEN:The Life and Crimes of L.A.s Notorious Mobster, the story I tell and this are broadly interlinked.