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Journalist Asbury pulled this book together from several official sources, including police records as well as unofficial ones such as the rough memories of criminals. True to the title, the book is a history of crime both organized and not that permeated the dirty underbelly of New York City and its boroughs in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these gangs were so vicious they would post signs warning police to stay out of their neighborhoods or else! The 1927 volume is the basis of Martin Scorsese's forthcoming film of the same name starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Titanic heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, so make sure to have at least one copy on hand. This edition contains numerous illustrations and a foreword by Jorge Luis Borges.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Asbury comes off as positively multicultural when you compare him with his peers and immediate predecessors . . ." -- -Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review
"Gangs is one of the essential works of the city, as deserving of a permanent place on the shelf . . ." -- -Luc Sante, The New York Review
"The rhetoric of the times, slang and colorful nicknames provide a poetic pleasure that helps offset the horrors . . ." -- Robert Flanagan, The Dispatch
After seeing the movie I was intrigued to find this book, the supposed "true story" behind the movie. Getting the "truth" here, however, is very unlikely. Read morePublished on June 28 2004 by Traveler
A breezy, in-your-face tour into the bowels of the New York slums of the 19th and eary 20th century. Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2003 by Scott C. Gibson
This book accomplishes very little of what it sets out to do. An "informal history of the underworld" turns out to mean the book is a mostly dull, mostly anecdotal,... Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2003 by Nicholas S. Ludlum
All I need to say is that this book is immensely boring. It is like one, long column in a newspaper. It is not well written and it did not grab my continuous interest. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by wannabemoviecritic
As a contemporaneous take on nineteenth-century New York, this book is like an uncut gem found beneath an attic eave. Read morePublished on June 23 2003 by Carolyn Paetow
Re-reading Asbury's classic "Gangs of New York" was sort of like re-reading Homer's "Iliad" with its litany of battles and combatants, and because of its epic... Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by Rocco Dormarunno
This is a great book for those interested in the roots of New Yorks dark side. There is much more to this book than what was made into the recent movie with the same title and the... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2003 by Anuro3
This book surprised me from the very beginning when I discovered it was written in the 1920s... (For some reason, I thought it was written a few years ago)
Having LOVED the... Read more