Napoleon & The Shroud

Napoleon and The Christ-2

‘An inspiring book about a primal force of history and faith.’

“Almost since the beginning of time, armies had marched into war bearing symbols of protection from higher powers. Plutarch wrote that in leading his troops Alexander the Great would shift “his lance into his left hand, and with his right appealed to the gods… praying (to) them, if he was really sprung from Zeus, to defend and strengthen the Greeks.” In Biblical times, the high priest Aaron served as a religious figure who traveled together with the military. In feudal Europe, armies carried papal flags to show that their campaigns had the blessing of the church. So, too, Napoleon in his first presiding military assignment to Italy had ignored orders from the French Revolution’s ruling Directory to dethrone Pope Pius VI and shutter the church. Instead Napoleon outfitted each of his regiments with imperial standards that had been blessed by the pope.”

From Napoleon and The Christ, due out in 2019 in the U.S. and France, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s birth.

 

DID NAPOLEON UNVEIL an astonishing truth concealed for centuries? When Napoleon came to power he had the Musée du Louvre, located on Paris’ Right Bank, renamed in his honor — and soon the Musée Napoleon was overflowing with the artistic spoils of war as Bonaparte’s Grand Army swept across the continent. Among the cultural artifacts that made their way to Paris were hundreds of paintings and sculptures, including every image Napoleon could find of Jesus Christ,as well as the sacred relics from the crucifixion. Why? Why this obsession from the conqueror who had fought endlessly with Pope Pius VII who ultimately excommunicated him? What did Napoleon know that had eluded everyone else for over seventeen centuries?

 

NAPOLEON & THE CHRIST

By TONY CASTRO

In Napoleon and The Christ, Napoleon Bonaparte is on a grail quest through the treasures of the Vatican, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral — as well as in Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land — for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as elusive as it is enlightening. In a frantic race against time, Napoleon seeks out the unique religious relic of Jesus that he believes holds the key to his destiny.

Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t an emperor — he was a Christ in his own mind. He had all of France and much of Europe under his thumb, but what obsessed and drove him mad were the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ: a piece of the cross, a nail from the crucifixion, the crown of thorns, and, most of all — the Shroud of Turin, the linen cloth bearing the image of a crucified man believed to be the historical Jesus of Nazareth.

Napoleon and The Christ — due out in 2019 — is the previously untold story of perhaps the two most remarkable giants of world history, one of the greatest military generals searching for answers in the mysterious burial shroud of Christendom’s prince of peace.

TONY CASTRO is a Harvard and Baylor University-educated historian, Napoleon Bonaparte scholar and author of several books, including the landmark civil rights history Chicano Power: The Emergence of Mexican America, which Publishers Weekly acclaimed as “brilliant… a valuable contribution to the understanding of our time.”

He is also the author of critically recognized biographies of Ernest Hemingway and baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, with a forthcoming dual biography of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (Triumph Books) in April 2018.

He is currently working on a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte.

As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Tony studied under Homeric scholar and translator Robert Fitzgerald, Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz, and French history scholars Laurence Wylie and Stanley and Inge Hoffman.

 

The dust jacket photo for Napoleon and The Christ is from a painting at Versailles known as Bonaparte au Pont d’Arcole, 1796, by Antoine-Jean Gros, showing Napoleon leading his troops in storming the bridge.

How The Mick Became #7

Remembering Dynasty, Bums, and More with Peter Golenbock and Ralph Tyko who welcome author Tony Castro to the Zone for the first time. Tony wrote DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivalry, Yankee Blood Brothers.

Listen to the interview here.

The ’92 Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD

The videotaped police beating of Rodney King following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991 ultimately triggered the 1992 riots when a jury acquitted four LAPD officers. A witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of the beating from his balcony, and sent the footage to local news station KTLA.

The videotaped police beating of Rodney King following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991 ultimately triggered the 1992 riots when a jury acquitted four LAPD officers of assault and using excessive force. A witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of the beating from his balcony, and sent the footage to local news station KTLA.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 29TH MARKS the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, but perhaps the true genesis to the violence that would forever change the city and its controversial police department dates back to little more than a year earlier.

On the evening of March 3, 1991, what should have been a routine traffic stop on a San Fernando Valley freeway escalated into an altercation whose image would be as ingrained in America’s social and political conscience as anything ever produced by Hollywood.

Unaware they were being filmed by an amateur cameraman, four white LAPD officers beat an African-American motorist named Rodney King. The 12-minute video was aired that night by a local TV station, giving Angelenos and the rest of the world a glimpse of shocking behavior from those sworn to protect and serve.

“That day put in motion the forces that changed and dramatically transformed Los Angeles, the LAPD and many of our institutions,” says Bernard Kinsey, who helped lead Rebuild Los Angeles, the economic redevelopment agency formed after the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

“The city would never be the same.”

Those riots erupted April 29, 1992, hours after the four officers charged with the use of excessive force were acquitted by a predominantly white jury in Simi Valley.

“Ultimately, the (minority) community felt that it needed to get justice and sadly, people took it into their own hands,” says Danny Bakewell Sr., a former civil rights activist who now is publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel.

“We don’t condone that, but we certainly do understand that. You can only suppress and oppress a people for so long.”

In three days of violence that spread from South Los Angeles to other parts of the city, 53 people were killed and nearly 2,400 were hurt. Looting, vandalism and arson resulted in an estimated $1 billion in damage.

In the midst of it, King made a public appearance and broadcast his now-famous plea: “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

‘Tony Castro’s really fantastic book, DiMag & Mick’

Best-selling author Peter Golenbock, someone I’ve always considered baseball’s historian-in-residence, wrote a glowing recommendation that’s on the dust jacket of ‘DiMag & Mick’ and here again is incredibly kind in his thoughts from his Facebook page. Thank you, Peter.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.48.34 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.48.55 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.49.29 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.49.43 AM

‘A Dream of a Book’ – Chicago Tribune on ‘DiMag & Mick’

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.12.13 AM

DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers by Tony Castro, Lyons Press, 271 pages, $24.95

This is a dream of a book. Castro, author of perhaps the best biography of Mickey Mantle, “America’s Prodigal Son,” takes on the myth that in 1951, Joe DiMaggio, in his last season, snubbed the rookie who would replace him in center field for baseball’s greatest dynasty. Castro offers a revisionist history of the friendship of the two Yankee greats. Castro reveals a fascinating bond where others, over the decades, found no relationship at all. He also puts a fresh perspective on the fame of both Joe and the Mick, quoting Hollywood journalist James Bacon: “Joe and Mickey had more in common with Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and the idols of celebrity than they did with the life into which they were born … It’s what came with what they did so wonderfully well with the inevitability of their success.”

Castro has a fine eye for the revealing detail. Near the end of Mantle’s career at a Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium, DiMaggio, looking splendid in late middle age, “walked with his customary grace from the dugout on to the field.” Then, as he waved to the cheering crowd, the Yankee Clipper noticed Mickey’s mother, Lovell, standing off, almost ignored, to one side. DiMaggio unexpectedly cupped her elbow in his hand and escorted to where all the players and dignitaries were lined up along the infield grass.”

But DiMaggio’s dignity gave way to scorn a few minutes later when he saw Robert F. Kennedy in the Yankees dugout: “DiMaggio despised both Bobby Kennedy and his brother … for their romantic involvement with Marilyn Monroe.” Snubbing Kennedy, “DiMaggio turned his attention to Mickey and the fans there to honor him. ‘I’m proud,’ he announced, ‘to introduce the man who succeeded me in center field in 1951.'”

“DiMag & Mick” grants us insight into Mantle, quoting from interviews and letters of Holly Brooke, Mickey’s secret girlfriend in the 1950s. Ms. Brooke’s memories of Mickey should temper our own recollections: “Mickey just wouldn’t tell a lie. He would try not to hurt anybody. I don’t know how many people you can say that about.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-baseball-book-roundup-20160510-story.html

Donald J. Trump, the Presidency, and American Karma

091iAT 11:30 P.M. ON ELECTION NIGHT 2012, outraged at President Barack Obama’s re-election victory over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Donald J. Trump tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”

Karma, of course, has its own cruel irony. The day after Trump’s stunning presidential triumph this week, tens of thousands of Americans unleashed their own outrage by beginning to march, if not on Washington, then at least on the streets of many of America’s cities, trying to stop the travesty they saw in his election.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-44-56-pmThose demonstrations on the streets reflect the feeling among millions in America unwilling to accept Trump’s victory, at least without some kind of protest – chanting their slogans “Not My President” and “Trump and Pence make no sense.”

Racist, sexist, and a homophobe. Correct or not, concerns over those allegations against the brash, outspoken billionaire have left the first days after his election full of doom and gloom for protesters and others mourning the bitter, unexpected defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In response, Trump supporters have taken to social media and denounced demonstrators as hypocrites or worse for not accepting defeat in a democratic process.

This is not new, of course, in American presidential history. In 1969, protesters assaulted Richard Nixon’s inaugural motorcade along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington with smoke bombs, rocks and rotten eggs.

In 2000, thousands of demonstrators attended George W. Bush’s inauguration ceremonies in the nation’s capital where Bush’s limousine was hit by a tennis ball and an egg thrown from the crowd during the inaugural parade.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, that son of a Bush has got to go,” chanted a cluster of protesters among a group of protesters along the parade route. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 protesters marched in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

And as far back as 1860, news of that year’s presidential victory by a Northern Republican led the state legislature of South Carolina to declare Abraham Lincoln’s election a hostile act and its intention to secede from the Union

Understandably, today the Obama White House is urging anyone choosing to protest Trump’s election, to do so non-violently.

“We’re Democrats and Republicans, but we’re Americans and patriots first,” Obama press secretary Josh Ernest cautioned Thursday, amid what some protesters were calling the dawn of a new fascism.

The concern is being further fueled by the fact that, though winning the presidency through an Electoral College majority, Trump apparently lost the popular vote to Mrs. Clinton, much as George W.  Bush lost the national vote to Democrat Al Gore.

Mrs. Clinton will have won the popular vote by a wider percentage margin than not only Gore in 2000 but also John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Richard Nixon in 1968.

Incidentally, Mrs. Clinton and George W. Bush are not the first candidates to have won the popular vote but lost the presidency, though the others date back to the 19th century.

In the 1824 election, John Quincy Adams was elected president in a campaign decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote. Andrew Jackson had received the most electoral votes, but lost the presidency in the House vote.

Rutherford B. Hayes won the bitter 1876 presidential election despite Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York winning the popular vote. Even the electoral votes were in dispute but was resolved in a deal in which Democrats acquiesced to Hayes’s election in exchange for Republicans agreeing to withdraw federal troops from the South, thus ending Reconstruction.

In 1888, incumbent Democratic President Grover Cleveland of New York won the popular vote but was unseated by Benjamin Harrison in the Electoral College when Cleveland ailed to carry his home state where New York City’s Tammany Hall political machine helped defeat helped defeat him.

In all those instances, supporters of the defeated candidates have raised the question of electing a president in a way some see counter to traditional democratic rules.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-45-17-pm“If we really subscribe to the notion that ‘majority rules,’ then why do we deny the majority their chosen candidate?” asked a disappointed Jennifer M. Granholm, a Clinton supporter and a former governor of Michigan, in the wake of the most recent election.

Trump would appear to agree. Or he did, at least, in a Twitter post on the eve of the 2012 election when he called the Electoral College “a disaster for democracy.” At the time Trump believed that Romney, who he supported, had beaten President Obama in the popular vote. He hadn’t.

Today, the beneficiary of the unique indirect election of the American presidency put in place by the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Trump finds that his gleaming black leather size 12 Oxford is on the other foot.

Tony Castro, a former political reporter and columnist, is the author of five books, the most recent being Looking for Hemingway: Spain, The Bullfights and a Final Rite of Passage (Lyons Press).

 

DiMaggio Wanted Grace Kelly Before Marilyn

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 12.10.24 PM

BEFORE JOE DIMAGGIO married Marilyn Monroe, he had romantic designs on another Hollywood beauty, Grace Kelly. The new dual biography ‘DiMag & Mick’ goes into how the Yankee Clipper went to bat to win over the future Princess Grace but struck out. http://www.amazon.com/DiMag-Mick-Sibling-Rivals-Brothers/dp/1630761249/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

‘Tony Castro’s Biography Is The Bible of Mickey Mantle Books’

By TOM CATAL

There are Mickey Mantle books  by the boatload, but there’s only one Mickey Mantle biography that Mick himself would ever personally bother to read — and endorse. And that’s Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son by former Sports Illustrated staff writer Tony Castro.

Tom Catal, owner and curator of the Mickey Mantle Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

Tom Catal, owner and curator of the Mickey Mantle Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

The book captures Mick as no other book ever has or likely will because Tony Castro knew him as few others ever have. They formed a personal friendship in 1970, not long after Mick’s retirement and right after Tony had graduated from college — and it was a friendship built not on Tony being some obsessed fan or even a prying sportswriter.

It was a friendship built on golf and them playing almost daily on golf courses around Dallas, Texas, where they were both living at the time. (Tony later wrote about that in his dual biography DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers.)

I was in business with Mick. I got to known him as we travelled on the memorabilia circuit, and eventually I opened the Mickey Mantle Museum in Cooperstown, New York, with the biggest Mantle collection in the world.

When Tony decided to write his biography of Mick in the years after his death, he reached out to me and spent years exhaustively researching Mickey, his life, his place in baseball history and his role in America, which is significant.

b10411_e2281795fe9e4f0ebcbba977693c73f2The result is the greatest baseball biography around, and I think I’m in an ideal place to judge as a friend of Mick’s, as a baseball collector and historian, and as a friend to countless other baseball legends. In fact, it was through one of those — Pete Rose, our mutual friend — through whom I met Tony in Cooperstown.

And I know Pete shares my sentiments. Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son is the unquestioned bible of Mickey Mantle books.

Tom Catal, owner and curator of the Mickey Mantle Museum in Cooperstown, NY, was one of Mick’s best friends and today owns the world’s biggest collection of his memorabilia.

 

Happy Birthday, Holly Brooke!

HollyMick copy1

Actress Holly Brooke and heralded Yankee rookie Mickey Mantle out on the town in New York during Mick’s 1951 season.

TODAY IS HOLLY BROOKE’S 93rd birthday. She was Mickey Mantle’s true love. They met in 1951, Mickey’s rookie season, and they carried on a romance well into the 1960s.

It was Holly who, after staying with Mickey in Kansas City during his month-long demotion to the minors, suggested that upon his return to the Yankees that he ask for his uniform number to be switched from 6 to 7 — special because her birthday was June 7.

Author Tony Castro's inscription to Holly Brooke on the title page of his book, DiMag & Mick.

Author Tony Castro’s inscription to Holly Brooke on the title page of his new book, DiMag & Mick.

In the new book DiMag & Mick, author Tony Castro  reveals that the Yankees’ switch-hitting icon proposed to New York actress Holly Brooke in that 1951 season and that they carried on an affair for years even after he married his high school sweetheart to please his dying father.

For decades, sportswriters and authors tried unsuccessfully to interview Brooke — and were never even able to track her down.

But Castro, the author of the critically acclaimed biography Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son, not only found the elusive Holly Brooke but interviewed her exhaustively about her relationship with Mick and her recollection of Mantle’s time in New York — including the friendship he shared with Joe DiMaggio but which few others knew about.

To listen to Tony Castro talk about Holly and Mick go to his latest interview.

The New Web Site for ‘DiMag & Mick’

Check out the new web site for my book ‘DiMag & Mick’ that will be in book stores March 16,  http://www.dimagmick.com

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.25.03 AM

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

My publisher asked me to start a newsletter where I can communicate with readers more intimately than on social media… and that will allow us to offer special deals and giveaways that sometimes get lost in online insanity And my promise: your email address will never be sold. Your call!

Support Our Journalism

Ensure that mission-driven reporting and investigative journalism that exposes abuses, rights wrongs, and holds the powerful accountable will continue to survive at a time when we need it most. Thank you for your support of the Tony Castro’s America blog!

Donate