The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2008 - History - 366 pages
11 Reviews

The basis of Martin Scorcese's acclaimed 2003 film, The Gangs of New York is a dramatic and entertaining glimpse at a city's dark past.

Focusing on the saloon halls, gambling dens, and winding alleys of the Bowery and the notorious Five Points district, The Gangs of New York dramatically evokes the destitution and shocking violence of a turbulent era, when colorfully named criminals like Dandy John Dolan, Bill the Butcher, and Hell-Cat Maggie lurked in the shadows, and infamous gangs like the Plug Uglies, the Dead Rabbits, and the Bowery Boys ruled the streets. A rogues' gallery of prostitutes, pimps, poisoners, pickpockets, murderers, and thieves, Herbert Asbury's whirlwind tour through the low life of nineteenth-century New York has become an indispensible classic of urban history.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
3
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
2

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mzonderm - LibraryThing

When reading a book written some time ago, it's important to remember that standards and tastes may have been different back then. Such is the case here. It's entirely possible (in this case, likely ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Tyllwin - LibraryThing

History, though not scholarly history, he's telling (mostly) true stories, but it's stories and not footnoted historical material. Written eighty-some-odd years ago, the writing holds up surprising well, though from time to time a bit purple and incorrect for modern tastes. Read full review

Contents

THE FIVE POINTS IN 1829
3
THE DYING MotherA SCENE IN THE OLD BREWERY
16
THE GREAT EAST SIDE NEW YORKScenes to be Met With in a Walk Along
31
PRAYER MEETING IN John ALLENs DANCE House
53
CIVIL WAR DRAFTRIOT SACKING A DRUG STORE INSECOND AWE CA 1863
109
BURNING OF THE SECOND AVENUE ARMORY
124
x
158
The King of the Bank Robbers
185
x
207
xI
228
xiv
259
The Wars of the Tongs
277
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Herbert Asbury, an early 20th-century journalist, made a name for himself by documenting the gangs, pimps, prostitutes, and thieves that thrived in the underbellies of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans. His works, still in print after seventy-five years, are often hailed as the best snapshots of their time period. The Gangs of New York was the basis of Martin Scorcese's 2003 film.

Bibliographic information