For Rich Cohen, who grew up in suburban Illinois in the 1980s taunted by the stereotype of Jews as book-reading, college-attending rule followers, the very idea of the Jewish gangster was a relief. The words "Jewish gangster" seemed to suggest an alternative, a future shot full of holes. For once, a Jew in jail did not have to mean white collar crime.
Cohen learned about the gangsters from his father, Herb Cohen, author of You Can Negotiate Anything, and his father's friends from the old neighborhood in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, including talk-show host Larry King. At breakfast, after touching on Jewish basketball stars and boxers, these men would speak of Jewish gangsters, corner boys who took grief from no one. Cohen, taken with his father's fixation on these elusive figures, has gone back -- interviewing survivors, prosecutors, and relatives, wading through police records and court reports -- to excavate the real stories behind the legends, the rise, the fall, and the mystery: Where did the tough Jews go?
|Publisher:||Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random|
About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Date of Birth:July 30, 1968
Place of Birth:Lake Forest, Illinois
Education:B.A., Tulane University, 1990
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If tough Jews interest you, also read 'The Pledge.' Barnes & Noble sells it, too. The tough Jews in 'The Pledge' are the men and women, mostly veterans of World War II, who served in the secret American underground that helped arm the new State of Israel for its war of independence. Not only Jews. Protestants and Catholics, too. People who wanted to help the homeless survivors of the Holocaust. They found, acquired , repaired and then flew surplus American aircraft to Israel to create the Israeli Air Force. Their transport planes brought the arms from Europe that made victory certain. 'The Pledge' by Leonard Slater. Tough Jews you want your kids to know about. 'The Pledge' is back in print and sold online by Barnes & Noble.
A gripping and informative depiction of 'murder inc.' and jewish gangsters of the early to mid twentieth century. This book profiles the hardships that jews faced in america and the choices some were forced to make. Tough Jews also helps to debunk unfortunate stereotypes that american jews have been labeled with and restore a sense of pride in their recent past. quick read and very entertaining.