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The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America Revised Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231096836
ISBN-10: 0231096836
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Fried, coauthor of Socialist Thought (Classic Returns, LJ 8/93), here "rescues the Jewish gangster from oblivion and traces the development of the Jewish underworld from its origins to its gradual disappearance after Prohibition" (LJ 8/80). This revised edition updates the information on such figures as Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Dutch Shultz.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Albert Fried recalls the rise and fall of an underworld culture that bred some of America's most infamous racketeers, bootleggers, gamblers, and professional killers, spawned by a culture of vice and criminality on New York's Lower East Side and similar environments in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Newark, and Philadelphia. The author adds an important dimension to this story as he discusses the Italian gangs that teamed up with their Jewish counterparts to form multicultural syndicates.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised edition (January 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231096836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231096836
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent academic account--and, at the same time, most enjoyable reading for a scholarly work--on ethnic succession in organized crime. Italian and Jewish gangsters supplanted German and Irish hoods during Prohibition. The Italians outlasted the Jews and are now being supplanted by other ethnic groups. Working largely from FBI files and contemporary news accounts, Fried examines the why and how of it all, tracing Jewish organized crime from the early New York street gangs through such powerhouse mobsters as Waxey Gordon, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, the "Cleveland Four," headed by Moe Dalitz who later migrated to Las Vegas, and the legendary "Chairman of the Board," Meyer Lansky. One wishes there had been more emphasis on other Jewish mobsters such as Dutch Schultz, Jake Guzik, Charlie Birger, Kid Cann, and the Purple Gang but the rise and fall of the Jewish gangster seems to have been much the same story anyway throughout America and I don't think it's been told better anywhere.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has looked into American 20th century "Leftist" urban politics has undoubtedly run across Albert Fried's name before. In this wonderful history, he expertly tells the story of emerging urban Jewish culture at the turn of the century and of how one segment of this culture then quickly evolved to succeed in the wilderness of the Lower East Side, Manhattan. All of the major gangster figures are covered in detail and a number of "lesser known" gangsters (to those who are not as expert in this subject) are revealed to have been important local figures in their day, as well as meaningful players in a larger coherent socio-political story. I emphasize "story" because to me that is what this book really is: Fried clearly has a passion for his subject and his city and as a result, the book reads like a wise Jewish grandfather passing down his legends. Anyone with an interest in gangster culture, its relationship to local, state and national politics, the history of New York City, and/or the history of American Judaism as developed through the New York Secular movement MUST read this book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned alot reading this book about the small time crooks and the dangerous mobsters of Jewish background, as well as the non-Jewish mafia who worked with and against them. A piece of Jewish history that is not always discussed-the rampant prostitution and betting in the Lower East Side and the opportunity that Prohibition created for those who made a business of crime. Fascinating!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read quite a number of books on this subject and keep coming back to this as
my key reference work on the topic. It's well researched, thorough and accessible and I'd recommend it to
anyone wanting to delve into the topic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was surprised to learn about the extent of illegal activities of Jewish gangsters in the lower East side of Manhattan in the late 1800s and well into the 20th century. This book is very well written and is keeping me riveted so as to continue reading to the continuous flow of gangsters and their ingenuity to control vice, gambling and politics..
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