From Library Journal
Journalist Asbury pulled this book together from several official sources, including police records as well as unofficial ones such as the rough memories of criminals. True to the title, the book is a history of crime both organized and not that permeated the dirty underbelly of New York City and its boroughs in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these gangs were so vicious they would post signs warning police to stay out of their neighborhoods or else! The 1927 volume is the basis of Martin Scorsese's forthcoming film of the same name starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Titanic heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, so make sure to have at least one copy on hand. This edition contains numerous illustrations and a foreword by Jorge Luis Borges.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Asbury comes off as positively multicultural when you compare him with his peers and immediate predecessors . . ." -- Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review
"Bursts with exuberance for its criminal subject matter. A riproaring read ... Asbury's lurid prose gives [the book] mythic stature." -- Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, The Financial Times Limited, January 18, 2003
"Gangs is one of the essential works of the city, as deserving of a permanent place on the shelf . . ." -- Luc Sante, The New York Review
"The rhetoric of the times, slang and colorful nicknames provide a poetic pleasure that helps offset the horrors . . ." -- Robert Flanagan, The Dispatch