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The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America Paperback – 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231096836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231096836
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,421,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Albert Fried teaches American Studies at SUNY Purchase. He is the editor of Socialism in America: From the Shakers to the Third International, and edited with Ronald Sanders a revised edition of Socialist Thought: A Documentary History, both available from Columbia University Press.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Abe Shoenfeld could not have been completely surprised that day in August 1912 when a group of influential New York City German-American Jews called on him to undertake an important and highly confidential assignment. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Jun. 1999
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Masterpiece 21 July 2001
By Rick "Mad Dog" Mattix - Published on Amazon.com
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.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The real New York Counter-culture 28 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting piece of history 1 Feb. 2011
By Ozzie - Published on Amazon.com
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!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
excellentt source of background information on Jewish Mafia 5 Sept. 2010
By bookbroad - Published on Amazon.com
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.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I never knew 25 Jan. 2013
By odysseus - Published on Amazon.com
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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