Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Janet Jackson All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now Halloween
Boardwalk Gangster: The Real Lucky Luciano and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $4.16 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Boardwalk Gangster: The R... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Boardwalk Gangster: The Real Lucky Luciano Paperback – September 27, 2011

18 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$8.49 $5.17

John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy by William Caferro
Historical Biographies and Memoirs
Check out a selection of biographies and memoirs, including John Hawkwood by William Caferro. Learn more | See related books
$13.83 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Boardwalk Gangster: The Real Lucky Luciano
  • +
  • Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
  • +
  • Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
Total price: $41.61
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Americans have a tendency to romanticize some of our worst criminals. Thankfully, Newark avoids that in his absorbing and well-researched biography of one of our most interesting gangsters. For the most part, he confirms that Luciano was a murderous thug. Still, as Newark illustrates, he was a cut above most of his fellow hoods in terms of intelligence and his understanding of the American political and economic landscape. Although he was born in Sicily, Luciano was Americanized in that he had contempt for most of the older, Sicilian-born Moustache Petes and their pretensions to codes of honor and disdain for working with Jewish mobsters. Perhaps it was his streak of independence that allowed Luciano to survive the viscious New York Mob wars of the 1920s and 1930s, but it also left him particularly vulnerable to Thomas Dewey’s crusade against the Mob. Newark’s recounting of his later career after his deportation is interesting and provocative. He clearly worked for the U.S. government, but his activities were so murky that it is unclear who was being manipulated. --Jay Freeman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A fascinating case of how criminals are made, broken--and made again. (The Huffington Post)

Well written and well researched. (The Telegraph (Books of the Year) (UK))

This interesting book separates the truth about Luciano from the stories and movies about his life. (The Oklahoman)

A must for true-crime fans. (News of the World (UK))

Newark provides what is, probably, the most balanced biography of a man who often claimed to be a victim, but had little thought for his own victims. (BBC History Magazine)

Great detective work here. Tim Newark has uncovered fascinating new angles on the Lucky Luciano story and tells it well. (John Dickie, author of Cosa Nostra)

Tim Newark's beautifully written and thoroughly researched studies offer new information and penetrating insights on hitherto little-known chapters in the history of American organized crime. (Robert Rockaway, author of But He Was Good to His Mother)

The victory of Mafia Allies is the depth the author brings to the subject. (New York Post on Mafia Allies)

Mafia Allies follows the fortunes of the Italian and American Cosa Nostra during the Second World War and brilliantly explodes a large number of myths in the process. (Daily Telegraph (UK) on Mafia Allies)

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250002648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250002648
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Born in Sicily in 1897 and having emigrated to the United States ten years later, Salvatore Lucania (aka Charley Luciano, Lucky Luciano, Charles Lane, Charles Reid, et al.) was one of the most notorious Mafioso in this country. Luciano's criminal career spanned a half century. The peculiar thing about it was that for the first quarter century his importance as a gangster far exceeded the public's image of him, whereas for the next quarter century the situation was reversed. That he eventually became "possibly the most famous gangster in the world" was largely the result of assorted promotional campaigns by various government agencies in their efforts to justify their budgets and glorify their existence.

In telling the life story of Luciano, Tim Newark emphasizes this binary aspect of his career - first as a "real" and deadly gangster, and then as the "fake" (or exaggerated) gangster of the government's making. But the book is more than a biography of a social misfit. It is, inevitably, also an overview of organized crime in the United States from WWI through 1960. Other gangsters of infamy covered in the book and with whom Luciano associated include Meyer Lansky, Jack "Legs" Diamond, Arnold Rothstein, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, Frank Costello, and Vito Genovese. (Unlike many Sicilian gangsters, Luciano had no reservations or prejudices about working with Jewish gangsters. Indeed, Meyer Lansky probably was his closest life-long friend.) And Luciano was involved in virtually all of organized crime's areas of operation: bootleg liquor during Prohibition, narcotics (Luciano probably was among the first to deal in heroin on a large scale), the protection racket, prostitution, and gambling, the numbers, and lotteries.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on October 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Tim Newark appears to have done a lot of research in delving into the life of Charles "Lucky" Luciano. He provides us with several sides of various incidents in Mr. Luciano's life using such phrasing as "In another version...", "It is believed", along with other phrases that lead the reader to wonder what actually happened. Both Meyer Lansky and Luciano were rivals of mobster Vito Genovese, and may have sought revenge on Vito by informing authorities of the November, 1957, mobster get-together in Apalachin, New York, which proved to be very embarrassing to Genovese as he sought to become the kingpin after the murder of Albert Anastasia.

Dutch Schultz, the noted Beer Baron of the Bronx, wanted a "hit" on prosecutor Tom Dewey, but Luciano didn't want a loose cannon like Schultz to bump off such a high profile target. Instead Schultz found himself the target and paid with his life in a Newark, New Jersey, chophouse. Ironically Luciano was sent to upstate New York's Dannemora prison for a sentence as long as thirty to fifty years for drug dealing and prostitution with Thomas Dewey as the prosecutor.

Author Newark delves into the role played by Luciano in helping out the United States during World War II in regards to the United States landing in Sicily, and the mob's role in protecting the docks in New York City. Newark speculates as to a possible role played by "The Mad Hatter" Albert Anastasia in the sinking of The Normandie in New York harbor to entice the government to ask the mob's help in sifting out so-called enemy espionage.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Like so many, I was absolutely riveted to HBO’s stellar Prohibition era crime drama, BOARDWALK EMPIRE. In fact, I can’t begin to tell you how sad I was to see it go after five incredible seasons. Sure – like any drama – it had some highs and lows stretched out over so many hours, characters, and plotlines; but it still managed to make such an indelible imprint on me that I’m still reading books and biographies exploring so many of the program’s primary and secondary characters.

In fact, that’s precisely what brings me to BOARDWALK GANGSTER: THE REAL LUCKY LUCIANO. On the HBO show, the young Luciano is played with delicious cunning by Vincent Piazza. While Lucky wasn’t the character I found most fascinating throughout this five season exploration, I saw enough of him that I wanted to know more. Consequently, I did some research, and – while a few other books came back with stronger recommendations than this one – I eventually settled on this one because it promised to go into some depth beyond the events of the TV series, leading to some developments beyond Luciano’s criminal career that I knew little to nothing about.

Author Tim Newark has clearly done his work in studying the life as well as the legend built up around one of gangdom’s seminal figures. In fact, Newark rather deftly navigates through much of controversy surrounding Luciano’s purported legacy – was he really as instrumental after his capture, conviction, and expulsion from the United States as the mobster and his accomplices would have you believe. Much of this is due to the fact that the author managed to uncover a veritable mountain of previously undisclosed details involving Lucky’s long alleged ‘cooperation’ with the United States government largely involving World War II and the subsequent Cold War.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Boardwalk Gangster: The Real Lucky Luciano
This item: Boardwalk Gangster: The Real Lucky Luciano
Price: $13.83
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: crime books