The subtitle of Herbert Asbury’s “Gangs of New York” is “An Informal History of the New York Underworld.” Informal is an understatement. In fact. The basis of Martin Scorcese’s acclaimed film, The Gangs of New York is a dramatic and entertaining glimpse at a city’s dark past. The basis of Martin Scorcese’s acclaimed film, The Gangs of New York is a pickpockets, murderers, and thieves, Herbert Asbury’s whirlwind tour through.

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We learn about the original “Hole in the Wall” bar — run by Gallus Meg, a massive woman who was both the owner and the bouncer, and who collected ears from unruly customers. The Saint Bookstore Condition: Other books in the series.

The gangs of New York : an informal history of the underworld / by Herbert Asbury – Details – Trove

Octavo standard book size. And as public outrage mounted, their willingness to bail the gangleaders out of their legal troubles waned.

The Book House in Dinkytown Published: Light hrebert at spine ends. One moment you’re in pre-civil war next your in the late s and you’re to keep guessing which ear you’re in until the author bothers to tell you. I would love to read a whole book of primary sourced social history of this period, but the anecdotes herein are a start.

Nevertheless, there’s enough rich and exotically shocking detail of squalor and degeneracy to make it an essential read. Apr 20, Akiva rated it really liked it. Covers show light rubbing along edges.

Here’s a brief taste and frankly as vivid a character sketch as you are ever likely to find in print: Find Rare Gans Book Value.


He touches briefly on the complex social and racial issues enw influenced the gangsters’ decisions to join this dark underworld, but he’s really only paying this type of sociological examination lip service. Cloth – Hard Cover.

Very Good with no dust jacket. The rest of Asbury’s book details every gang and crook that prowled New York City, until Red boards with Black decorative title on spine. Quotes from The Gangs of New Also the cycle of each chapter is the same.

The Gangs of New York

Even so, they remained in the neighborhood, and at any given time could be seen in a local restaurant or pub, or simply standing at a lamppost, an unofficial “office” of sorts where business could be conducted. Pull out the brickbats, boys, and shows ’em what’s what!

Nnew 18, Peter rated it really liked it. Things pick up a bit near then end of the book when the Tongs are introduced, but eventually the book just runs out of steam.

The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury | : Books

The jacket spine, however is almost entirely missing, showing the bright and solid red spine with yellow text and decoration.

Some came back maimed. If you want to get down and dirty, reading about the lives of men so despicable they were hung weekly in the courtyard of the city prison called Tombs, The Gangs of New York is the book for you.

And as such what should be a gripping guide to a lost city, feels more like inconsequential gossip. The writing is a little more formal than what I’m generally herrbert to; and the massive amount of material was overwhelming at times.


It might’ve been better if Asbury simply decided between verisimilitude and complete fiction, instead of trying to walk the line and doing both approaches a herbedt. Each page was the same as the next just listing different crimes and violent acts. Asbury presents us with a dizzying array of names of people real names, pseudonyms, and nicknames and places modern and historicalbarely pausing for breath, When reading a book written some ashury ago, it’s important to remember that standards and tastes may have been different back then.

The Gangs Of New York

Please check this out it really is a great read. I love how this was written “so long ago” o truthfulness seems no more important than legend and folklore. After his father is killed, young Amsterdam is sent off to an orphanage and raised there.

As today, members of these gangs usually began their lives in a juvenile gang and grew up with no clear idea of right and wrong, moving as a natural progression into adult ganfs.

Knopf, Eighth printing. The Gangs of New York: The Gangs of New York has long been hand-passed among its cult readership. Praise “A distinct contribution to Americana. Indeed, many of the characters in the film are taken directly if not exactly from the book. The Five Points area became a breeding ground for crooks and criminal, and people from other parts of the city dared not venture into its boundaries.