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Mobsters and Gangsters: Organized Crime in America, from Al Capone to Tony Soprano Hardcover – November 13, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this look at the history of American gangsters, the editors nicely balance chapters on the history of organized crime starting with the criminal "golden age" of the 1920s with a collection of archival photos. The money-shots here are dozens of photos depicting dead mobsters and victims: inspired by the style of famous crime photographer Weegee (who receives his own chapter), the book graphically illustrates the gory side of crime through bloody photos ranging from cowboy criminals like the Dalton gang to mob boss Paul Castellano's shooting in 1985. But the book isn't all blood and guts. Shorter sections on the elements of the gangster life from cars to clothes are equally successful in depicting the extravagant mob lifestyle; a chapter illustrating the lavish home of legendary L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen is a terrific look at American post-war domesticity super-sized by mob money and aggrandizement. While the prose is occasionally boiled a little too hard and the "reminiscence" by Elmore Leonard is a reprint of a slight if interesting biographical essay published in Life in 1990, the book delivers the requsite vicarious thrills.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Life (November 13, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929049846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929049844
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for a research project for school, and ended up having to redo my research. This book provides nice prohibition era photos and other such pictures, but the information is purely faulty. First off, when they were talking about Capone, they were totally off. Capone had a stand-in son who he took out in public, he never killed "thousands of people", and the St. Valentine's day massacre was headed by Jack McGurn, (not Jake), and involved 4 men (not 5). The rest of the magazine was the same. Also, i sensed a very biased few, they worshipped Eliot Ness and called Capone basically a brute. Maybe Life should have researched this a little before printing, eh?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick "Mad Dog" Mattix on November 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What we have here is a typical Time-Life pop-history book. Poorly researched, strewn with errors and superficial commentary but tons of great photos. The picture of the James gang is bogus, however. It's fun to look at but little more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was in excellent condition and is a great part of my crime library. I would recommend any mob fans to read it.
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By Eric on February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this book years ago and lost it do to some break-up most likely. Found it on Amazon and ordered the upgraded hard cover version. Shipping was fast and the quality was next to perfect. Perfect for my coffee table.
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