Jason Maoz has a lovely piece of research and writing in “Retail Kings” about the great Jewish retail emporiums that transformed
The names, familiar yet formidable, have their own special cadence – an honor roll of some of the last century's genuine commercial prodigies and merchant princes, German Jews almost every one of them, who changed the way America shopped:
Altman and Ohrbach and Bamberger and Klein. Filene and Magnin and Speigel and Saks. Sakowitz and Stern and Gimbel and Rich. Garfinkel and Godchaux and Goldwater and Gertz. Bergdoff and Goodman and Neiman and Marcus. Bloomingdale and Thalhimer and Lazarus and May.
Also (their identities not apparent from their stores' marquees): Hubschman (Two Guys) and Himmelstein (Lane Bryant); Farkas (Alexander's) and Ferkauf (E.J. Korvette); Rosenwald (Sears) and Straus (Macy's).
Worth reading in its entirety -- indeed worth reading just for the exchange of correspondence between Saks president Adam L. Gimbel and a purchaser complaining his camel-hair robe was beginning to fray, a mere 41 years into the 50-year warranty.
James Lileks, probably the funniest and finest writer currently blogging, put up this recommendation on Friday --
Gene Weingarten is a WaPo writer, and one of the funniest writers alive. . . . But he’s much more . . . he’s just a fine, fine writer. This piece should be taught in J-schools. This is Pulitizerian. Stick with it, and you’ll see what I mean.
And then read the equally extraordinary online discussion that Gene Weingarten conducted the day after the article appeared. I hope the Pulitzer committee will recognize not only the article, which deserves the award, but Weingarten's equally extraordinary discussion that took it to still another level.