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No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. There were Nazi plots to hang prominent Hollywood figures like Charlie Chaplin, gun down Jews in Boyle Heights, and plans to sabotage local military installations. As law enforcement agencies were busy monitoring the Reds instead of Nazis, an attorney named Leon Lewis and his ring of spies entered the picture. Acclaimed historian and USC Professor Steven J. Ross’ new book, Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America, tells this little-known story of Lewis, whose covert operation infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in the area to disrupt their plans. Ross will be joined by the Jewish Journal’s Editor-in-Chief Rob Eshman, for a fascinating look at how a daring group of individuals banded together to confront the rise of hate.

Steven J. Ross

Steven J. Ross is professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. He is the author of Hollywood Left and Right, recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Film Scholars Award and nominated for a Pulitzer; Working-Class Hollywood, nominated for a Pulitzer and the National Book Award; Movies and American Society; and Workers on the Edge. He lives in Southern California.


Rob Eshman

Rob Eshman is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Journal.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: A birthday celebration for Adolf Hitler in Los Angeles, April 20, 1935, at the Deutsches Haus Auditorium


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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