- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2010
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Conway (American Literacy) relates the engrossing tale of the greatest bank robbery in American history. The central figure is architect George Leslie, who was 27 when he arrived in Manhattan in 1869 seeking success and adventure. With impeccable manners and good looks, Leslie led a double life, inserting himself into the Gilded Age city's most elite circles, while assembling a gang of the cleverest criminals in New York City's underworld to carry out a series of bank robberies. His biggest was the October 27, 1878, theft from the Manhattan Savings Institution of some $3 million in cash and securities (the equivalent of $50 million today). Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, queen of the criminals. The author overstates his claim to be following in John Dos Passos's footsteps in quoting real newspaper headlines and stories of the period as well as song lyrics, but he capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age, from Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling to Marm Mandelbaum, queen of the criminals.’ . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed.”
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Then I noticed that the narrative would be interrupted by a lengthy digression into someone's background. Then sentences began to repeat themselves. Did you know that John Walsh's nickname was "Johnny the Mick"? You will, after struggling through this. His full name with nickname is only mentioned two thousand times. And then things started repeating themselves. Sentences started repeating themselves. Did you know that George Leslie detested violence during his robberies, and was very upset when an employee of a bank died during a heist? You will.
And then there were too many newspaper accounts. Under the guise of giving us what the press and, presumably, the City was thinking, they were mostly (and sometimes dubious) filler. A lot of filler in this book. A lot and a lot of filler, just to fill up space. The book struggled to make just over 210 pages and it showed. Did we really need to have full accounts of the Fisk/Stokes/Mansfield trials? (No. The trials had NOTHING to do with the great heist.) And then things started repeating themselves. Sentences started repeating themselves. Did you know that George Leslie had a dangerous and deadly soft spot for women? You'd better, after reading this. It's only pounded into your head a million times. And then things started repeating themselves. Sentences started repeating themselves.
And then great leaps of logic filled the pages. Desperate for a conclusion, North tells us that the end of the careers of the gangs of the Five Points and the Lower East Side gangs, combined with Jacob Riis' journalism and the reform movement, led to the creation of... ready?... the mafia[!][?][!][?] (I'm feeling guilty for venting like this. Almost.)
And then things started repeating themselves. Sentences started repeating themselves.... The editor must have been kidnapped. Please pay the ransom
The text was a bit repetative and that was all the more confusing and watered down the story that much more. I hope Mr. Conway is more forthcoming and less of a "broken record" when teaching his collegate english classes. As the old saying goes, "those who can't do teach." I guess, in that respect, some things really never do change, do they????????
The author's main contemporary source was the New York Times which was certainly not anywhere near as good a reference as the Police Gazette, the leading crime reporting newspaper of the time.
There isn't a footnote in the book and much of the "facts" about Leslie are conjectural,at best. In direct comparison to this minimum opus, I suggest Mike Dash's First Family which is interesting, well written, and thoroughly researched. As compared to Luc Sante's Low Life, this work pales.
After slogging through KOH, I know how Leslie's victims felt.