5-Star Story - Well Told
Fixer reviewed by C. L. Rossman, Armchair Interviews
Out of the ranks of the poor and downtrodden immigrants in the early
1900s, there rose a champion for the masses: Harry Leonnoff. As a mistreated
kid himself, who never knew kindness except from one foster farm family,
Harry contracted polio at an early age, and willed himself to walk again,
although with a limp.
In this "fictional biography," the author places Harry at the scene of
some famous injustices - such as the case of the "Scottsboro Boys," and
makes him a lightning-rod of justice, protecting people against discrimination
and even wrongful death. Jewish himself, Harry never could understand
the instant hatred he received from people who didn't even know him. Uneducated
yet trained to read the law, he aligned himself with one facet of Tammany
Hall and became a U. S. Marshal, yet always worked for the benefit of
the little guy.
If you knew of something happening that was wrong, you called on Harry
Leonnoff to "fix it."
The novel gives a vivid look at turn-of-the-century New York City politics,
including the career of Fiorello La Guardia, who becomes Harry's nemesis.
The author, a motivational speaker who previously wrote nonfiction like
Negotiation Boot Camp and Beating the Success Trap, wrote
this book in honor of his real-life grandfather Harry Wolkof and modeled
his main character after him. So this is a fictionalized biography of
sorts, but one which the author hopes remains true to his grandfather's
character-who was "the most extraordinary human being I have ever met,"
Armchair Interviews says: This makes for an equally extraordinary book,
and one you won't be able to put down.