The Gangs of New York

The Gangs of New York

An Informal History of the Underworld

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
Examines New York's gangs of the nineteenth century and charts their influence on the underworld in the twentieth century.

Perseus Publishing
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, 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. "A universal history of infamy [that] contains all the confusion and cruelty of the barbarian cosmologies...."—Jorge Luis Borges "The tale is one of blood, excitement and debauchery."—The New York Times Book Review "The Gangs of New York is one of the essential works of the city...."—Luc Sante, The New York Review of Books

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, 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. “A universal history of infamy [that] contains all the confusion and cruelty of the barbarian cosmologies....”—Jorge Luis Borges “The tale is one of blood, excitement and debauchery.”—The New York Times Book Review “The Gangs of New York is one of the essential works of the city....”—Luc Sante, The New York Review of Books


Book News
A prolific journalist and editor, Asbury (1891-1963) has his account of the Big Apple underworld published by Knopf in 1927 or 1928. It was republished by Paragon House is 1990. The new issue is inspired by the appearance of a big-name motion picture based on it. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Published to coincide with the new Martin Scorcese film of the same name, this revealing book explores the gangs of the 19th century and charts their influence on the underworld in the 20th century. Original.

Publisher: New York : Thunder's Mouth Press ; [Emeryville, CA] : Distributed by Publishers Group West [2001]
Description: xvi, 366 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9781560252757
1560252758
Branch Call Number: 364.106 Asb

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lukasevansherman
Dec 16, 2015

Well-known now thanks to Scorsese's movie, the book deserves to be rediscovered for its own merits and as a classic of underworld stories. Scorsese only borrowed a few elements (Bill the Butcher, the draft rtots) from this byzantine, bloody and sometimes comic collection of anecdotes, legends and tales of all manner of criminals, from con artists to killers to gang leaders. It has a pungent, disreputable energy and Asbury offers no social commentary or moral judgements. It also evokes a nearly vanished New York City, giving the seedy, violent stories a slight poignancy.

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