The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld
The Gangs of New York An Informal History of the Underworld Author:Herbert Asbury Published to coincide with the release of Martin Scorsese's film, Gangs of New York, starring Leonard DiCaprio, The Gangs of New York has long been hand-passed among its cult readership. It is a tour through a now unrecognizable city of abysmal poverty and habitual violence cobbled, as Luc Sante has written, from legend, memory, police records, ... more »the self-aggrandizements of aging crooks, popular journalism, and solid historical research. Asbury presents the definitive work on this subject, an illumination of the gangs of old New York that ultimately gave rise to the modern Mafia and its depiction in films like The Godfather.« less
Fierce fighting, mob violence and utter poverty; pirate gangs, draft riots and dance house brawls: it's all here, complete with contemporary illustrations. A great read and an eye-opener to the debauchery of early New York. This book is an excellent companion to the movie of the same name and the series "Five Points". An exciting read about a terrible time.
Bruce E. reviewed The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld on
Not a bad read especially if this city fascinates you like it does me. From a general history standpoint I found the chapters on the Civil War draft riots especially informative and enlightening. Overall for me it could have been done just as well in 100 fewer pages.
i was really, really ready for this book to be over by the time i got to the last few pages. endless pages of names of people that i couldn't follow, but it was a very good history lesson on where i'm living. it was incredible to read about all the history of the little corners of nyc that i frequent on a regular basis and to read about what's happened there.
Mel M. reviewed The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld on
This non-fiction text explores the "underbelly" of 19th century New York: the ethnic tensions and wars, the race riots, the corruption, Boss Tweed and Tammaney Hall. This text was the basis for Scorsese's film "The Gangs of New York" starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio.