Through New York's Golden Door: An American Journey
by H. Claude Shostal
Mascot Books

"Mine has been a rich life marked with more excitement and fulfillment than despair and disappointment."

Shostal shares his well-written memoir of an outstanding career providing civic development within the greater New York community. His story begins with his parents’ memoirs and their frightening escape from Nazi persecution in Europe. His father, a legionnaire stationed in Africa, demobilized and returned to France. Escaping with the eldest boy, Pierre, his mother had to leave the author behind. Anxiety was felt as the parents waited weeks for him to be smuggled into France, where visas provided a departure to the United States. The family finally escaped, embarking on a harrowing journey to New York Harbor and Ellis Island.

As a young man, Shostal was not fond of school but was determined to be a Harvard graduate. After graduation, with no job prospects, he joined the armed forces. When his tour was over, he became a public servant, working on the staff of Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Within this and other administrations, his work helped develop public green spaces, transportation, historic real estate and architecture, and provided opportunities for art and culture to thrive. He later moved to the real estate arm of Rockefeller Center, Inc., working with various talented, influential developers and architects.

Shostal writes candidly of his friendships and adventures through his passion for climbing the world’s highest mountains. For example, he spent weeks at a time climbing and hiking through his beloved Catskills, where romance and friendships were nurtured. Filled with an insider’s view of New York politics from the 1960s to the present, Shostal's memoir shares firsthand experiences of how some of the famous landmarks were developed that New Yorkers and tourists enjoy today. This skillfully written, humorous, and honest memoir brings chuckles, gasps, and tears in varying degrees. But above all, it reminds readers that the American dream is and has always been real.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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