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William Knoedelseder Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Eddie's Name: One Family's Triumph Over Tragedy (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

William Knoedelseder is a television news executive, bestselling author and veteran journalist that honed his narrative and investigative skills at the Los Angeles Times. Working for more than a dozen years for the venerable publication, he provided ground breaking stories about the entertainment industry and was the producer of several exposes over this time. His investigation over two years that exposed corrupt practices at Payola and other record businesses resulted in federal grand jury investigations. Ultimately, several organized figures would be arrested and convicted and the investigations would be the foundation for the bestselling title “Stiffed.” “Entertainment Weekly” would later call it the funniest and scariest work of the year and named it 1993’s Best Non Fiction work. Two of the leads in the novel Gaetano Corky Vastola, a New Jersey crime boss and Morris Levy the founder of Roulette Records would be the basis for Tony Soprano and his advisor the music mogul Herman Hesh Rabkin.

Knoedelseder would have a very successful career on TV that ran for more than a dozen years. He worked as creator and executive producer of documentaries and news programs for “USA Broadcasting,” “Fox Television,” “Knight Ridder” and “Disney.” During this time, he worked with Barry Diller at both “USA” and “Fox.” As the Vice President of News for these two organizations, he was the creator of “The Times” a groundbreaking nightly news program that was praised for its wink of the eye attitude, daring blend of journalism that combined irreverence with dollops of opinion and humor. It was named Best Newscast in South Florida by the “New Times of Miami.” He was also the producer of a critically acclaimed documentary titled “Marilyn: Something’s Got to Give.” It was a documentary about the making of the last film by Marilyn Monroe that was left unfinished after her untimely death. A three hour special documentary titled “All the Presidents’ Movies” provided insights into the viewing habits of American presidents. It gave information on the movies watched how they were related to world events and with whom these movies were watched. Much of the information was retrieved from private White House logs.

Since 2000 William Knoedelseder has been writing novels and made his debut with “In Eddies Name.” The novel is a chronicle of the gruesome murder of a teenager in Philadelphia which would make national headlines. During this time Knoedelseder was working as executive producer of “Inquirer News Tonight” on “Knight Ridder.” He was responsible for putting pressure on the city to release the tapes on the 911 calls on the night of the killing. These showed that there was complete breakdown of the emergency response system in Philadelphia. “I’m Dying Up Here” is the story of his time in Los Angeles reporting on the LA comedy club as a cub reporter. It was a time when the likes of Andy Kaufman, David Letterman, Robin Williams, and Jay Leno were still undiscovered talents. TV/Film rights for the novel were sold and it is set to be made into a TV series by Jim Carrey the actor. “Bitter Brew” one of his most popular novels is the story of the longest and most colorful business dynasties in the United States. The “Wall Street Journal” called it an intoxicating read. Michael London who produced “Sideways” the Oscar nominated film teamed up with Lionsgate Television and purchased the film rights to the novel that has since became a New York Times bestselling title.

“Bitter Brew” by William Knoedelseder is a fascinating novel of the family that made Budweiser – the Anheuser-Busch. The family seemed to have a gene for business that was inherited from grandfather to father and then to son. Over about a century, these men managed to create a family dynasty and amass a huge fortune. However, they also put riches and power above the needs of their children and wives. This resulted in a family full of tragedy, dysfunction, corruption and indulgence. The arrogance of the men and their single mindedness combines with genius to make for some interesting reading. However, it is sad to learn of how the men of the Busch family manipulated American drinking habits. They also cultivated people that held power at the federal and state levels. It is sad to read of the misfortunes that would later dog the family and especially those of August IV the last of the Buschs to run the family before it was finally taken over by InBev. The novel also goes further to explain what happened to the large breweries in the US that were founded during the late 60s and early 70s such as Molson and Labatt, Miller, Pabst, Coors, and Schlitz.

“I’m Dying Up Here” is a novel set in the mid 70s when the likes of Tom Dreesen, Jay Leno, Elayne Boosler, David Letterman, Robin Williams, Richard Lewis and Andy Kaufmann among hundreds of other incorrigible and shameless showoffs moved to Los Angeles. In the home of the “Tonight Show,” where laughter, sex, dreams and drugs were the norm, they created “Comedy Camelot,” an artistic community so unique that none like it had ever existed this side of the pond. Working as cub reporter, William Knoedelseder covered much of the comedy scene in LA while working for the Los Angeles Times. He was a reporter responsible for writing the profiles of people that would later become huge stars in Hollywood. He reported when the clubs failed to pay the comedians and in trying to change the system, he managed to tear down what had once been a close knit community. It is a story of the golden age of comedy and the strike that destroyed the community. As cable TV and comedy clubs began to take off, many of the people he reported about would become stars but would have to pay the price of stardom.
“Fins,” by William Knoedelseder is the story of the rise of the auto industry in the United States. It follows the life and times of an eccentric six foot five visionary Harley Earl. The man had dropped out of college and over the years was credited with inventing automobile styling that revolutionized the marketing and making of cars. It is a bona fide dynasty family saga that was birthed in the pine forest in Michigan following the Civil War. It would then move across the Great Plains and make its home in Hollywood California, then a small dirt road village. It was here that Harley worked in the carriage shop owned by his father. He learned everything there was to learn and then applied those skills to designing racy, sleek automobile bodies for the crowds that populated the burgeoning town. During the 1920s boom in manufacturing, Harley moved to Michigan invited over by GM and was responsible for introducing art into the boring mechanics of making cars. Over the next three decades, he was a combination of Tom Ford and Steve Jobs in redefining function and form of one of the most important products of the US.

Book Series In Order » Authors » William Knoedelseder

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