- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Monk Eastman: The Gangster Who Became a War Hero Hardcover – 5 Oct 2010
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One of the things I looked for was his assessment of Eastman's ancestry. Until recently it was pretty much universally accepted that Eastman was a Jew born as Edward Ostermann. As Hanson explains, this is one of those myths that found its way into gangster lore. Hanson also managed to dig up a later photo of Eastman that takes us beyond the mug shot on the cover of his book, a photo that has been the only example of Eastman most people have seen. Beyond these findings, the book is a good read that is well organized, provides all the sources and includes an index and bibliography. Since Hanson covered all the bases there will be no book to surpass this one. This will be the definite work on Eastman, period.
A crime infested environment on New York's Lower East Side entrapped Eastman into a life of crime as it did for several others. Immigrants to New York were sad to see their children turn to a life of crime as a way of life. This section of the book really makes a mockery of the poem on the Statue of Liberty "Give me your tired and poor yearning to be free." The "tired and poor" were thrown into a garbage dump on the Lower East Side of New York making them wonder why they ever came to this country.
Despite not having received any medals for his bravery during World War I Monk Eastman distinguished himself in the eyes of his peers. He was several years older than the average soldier, and his "combat" in New York in the slums of New York actually worked to his benefit in adjusting to life in the army. A fellow doughboy was about to shoot a German soldier approximately fifteen years old when Eastman told him to take the boy as a prisoner of war instead.
With the conclusion of the Great War Eastman returned to New York just as Prohibition was about to take place. Following a drinking party Eastman was shot and killed under mysterious circumstances which still contains a number of unanswered questions.
I especially liked what the Reverend James Lockwood of a Methodist Church said at Eastman's funeral. In part he said, "It has been said there is so much bad in the best of us, so much good in the worst of us, that it does not become any of us to think harshly of the rest of us. That is one way of saying, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
Look for similar items by category