“This book is a great read!”

—Howard Suber, author of The Power of Film and Letters to Young Filmmakers

“This is both a first-rate story and a previously untold one.”

—Peter Jaszi, Professor Emeritus, American University Law School

“With its engaging characters and intriguing plot, this book reads like a literary novel.”

—Philip Furia, author of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley

“Tells a fascinating story with insight and style.”

—Ben Yagoda, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made

"Captures the spirit of the age and paints a truly engaging portrait of a quite remarkable man.”

—Paul Goldstein, author of Copyright's Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox (2d ed. 2019)

"Lively and revealing" story of the man "who transformed the business of music in America."

—Eric Felten, The Wall Street Journal

About Jazz Age Lawyer

Adventures of a Jazz Age Lawyer is the lively story of legal giant Nathan Burkan, whose career encapsulated the coming of age of the institutions, archetypes, and attitudes that define American popular culture. With a client list that included Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Frank Costello, Victor Herbert, Mae West, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, Arnold Rothstein, and Samuel Goldwyn, Burkan was “New York’s Spotlight Lawyer” for more than three decades.

About Gary

“A born storyteller.”
—Peter Jaszi

“Leavens legal history with showbiz anecdote, and insight with amusement.”
—Ken Emerson

“I don’t know of anyone who writes about popular music more knowledgeably, penetratingly, and elegantly.”
—Ben Yagoda

Latest Blog Post


Charlie Chaplin’s films represented only a small fraction of the commerce being transacted in his name, image, and antics during the World War I era. Adventures of a Jazz Age Lawyer recounts how Chaplin’s lawyer, Nathan Burkan, chased down spurious Chaplin films that he considered “vulgar, suggestive, and obscene.”  …

Also by Gary

Unfair to Genius is an enlightening and entertaining romp through 60 tumultuous years of legal, artistic, and economic change in the American popular music industry, as seen through the lens of one of its most prolific copyright litigants and legendary outsiders, Ira B. Arnstein.