Tough Jews

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1999 - History - 275 pages
61 Reviews
In an L.A. delicatessen, a group of Brooklyn natives gets together to discuss basketball, boxing, the weather back east, and the Jewish gangsters of yesteryear. Meyer Lansky. Bugsy Siegel. Louis Lepke, the self-effacing mastermind of Murder, Inc. Red Levine, the Orthodox hit man who refused to kill on the Sabbath. Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, who looked like a mama's boy but once buried a rival alive. These are just some of the vibrant, vicious characters Rich Cohen's father reminisced about and the author evokes so pungently in Tough Jews.

Tracing a generation of Jewish gangsters from the candy stores of Brownsville to the clubhouses of the Lower East Side--and, occasionally, to suites at the Waldorf--Cohen creates a densely anecdotal and gruesomely funny history of muscle, moxie, and money. Filled with fixers and schlammers, the squeal of tires and the rattle of gunfire, his book shatters stereotypes as deftly as its subjects once shattered kneecaps.
  

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Review: Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams

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Contents

Nate nAls
13
Abe and Bll__Y
23
The Modems
39
War in Brownsville
71
Delegates at Large 8
89
Corners
111
On the Lam I5
147
Dead or Out of Town I 5
176
The XllflOl 2H Epilogue Nate I1 Als 263
267
A Note on Sources
269
Bibliography
271
Index
273
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Rich Cohen has written for The New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, among many other publications. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and recently cowrote a filmscript. He lives in New York City.

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