Measure of a Man

Measure of a Man


He's been called "America's greatest living tailor" and "the most interesting man in the world." Now, for the first time, Holocaust survivor Martin Greenfield tells his incredible life story. Taken from his Czechoslovakian home at age fifteen and transported to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz with his family, Greenfield came face to face with "Angel of Death" Dr. Joseph Mengele and was divided forever from his parents, sisters, and baby brother.

In haunting, powerful prose, Greenfield remembers his desperation and fear as a teenager alone in the death camp—and how an SS soldier's shirt dramatically altered the course of his life. He learned how to sew; and when he began wearing the shirt under his prisoner uniform, he learned that clothes possess great power and could even help save his life.

“Measure of a Man” is the story of a man who suffered unimaginable horror and emerged with a dream of success. From sweeping floors at a New York clothing factory to founding America’s premier custom suit company, Greenfield built a fashion empire. Now 86 years old and working with his sons, Greenfield has dressed the famous and powerful of D.C. and Hollywood, including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, celebrities Paul Newman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jimmy Fallon, and the stars of Martin Scorsese's films.

Written with soul-baring honesty and, at times, a wry sense of humor, “Measure of a Man” is a memoir unlike any other—one that will inspire hope and renew faith in the resilience of man. (Summary and cover courtesy of

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write a review


This was a short, but fascinating book that I couldn’t put down.  Martin Greenfield is a larger than life character that immediately brings you into his world.  He speaks candidly about his time in Auschwitz and doesn’t hide harsh realities.  In some ways, it was hearing his stories immediately after being liberated from the camp shows more insight to his character than the time up to that point.  One of the things that I appreciated most about him as a person is his matter of fact approach to problems, one day at a time.

I do have to say that towards the end of the book I was a little frustrated with the tone of congratulations that seeps in, but I also struggle to begrudge that from someone who managed to be so successful.  I both dislike and liked the celebrity anecdotes because of that angle.  Nonetheless this is a book I’d highly recommend!

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Anyone who has any passing interest in World War II or tailoring.