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The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The story of the American Mafia is not complete without a chapter on Kansas City. Events unfolding in this city affected the fortunes of all the 'families', & shaped the entire underworld. In this book, Frank Hayde ties in every major name in organised crime as well as the corrupt Kansas City police force.
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published January 20th 2008 by Barricade Books (first published January 30th 2007)
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Dec 12, 2016 Longfellow rated it really liked it

As someone who grew up in a K.C. suburb and has resided for the last decade within city limits, I’ve done relatively little to know the city’s history and tour its unique historic sites. But it hasn’t been for a lack of interest, and thus I found Frank Hayde’s The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob fascinating, reading it over the course of several days.

A few points of summary. The “machine” refers to the political influence of a group of men who worked outside the law to ga
Jul 02, 2008 Joel rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The first half covers a lot of the same stories related in Tom's Town, but this is a much lighter, quicker and frankly entertaining read. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the mafia or the dark, ignored side of Kansas City history. I can't wait to read it again.
Feb 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob

Having lived in the Kansas City area for about 12 years, I've heard a few stories about the city's history. I've heard about the availability of alcohol during Prohibition, the seedy and exciting nightclubs that used to line the streets downtown, the Nell Donnelly kidnapping and of course, the Mafia.

But the Kansas City Mafia stories were unlike those from New York or Chicago. Instead of operating in secret and being constantly pursued by
Feb 13, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those interested in Mafia, Kansas City, Las Vegas, political corruption, true crime
Shelves: true-crime
Author Frank Hayde left no stone unturned as he assembled a comprehensive and readable history of the Kansas City underworld. He neatly tied together generations of political shenanigans by the influential Pendergast political machine and numerous murders and illicit business ventures by the local Sicilian-Italian Mafia organization.

In telling just over a century's worth of history, Hayde did considerably more than merely hit the high points - the Union Station Massacre, point-shaving allegation
Sep 17, 2011 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a comprehensive yet readable history of an important -albeit little known -element of the American Mafia. Fleeting references to Kansas City are made in virtually every Hollywood mafioso production -from 'The Godfather' to 'Mickey Blue Eyes', however, few outside the Heartland known the magnitude of the KC syndicate during the 20th century. Author Frank Hayde draws KC's mob lineage back to the days of outlaw Jesse James and holds legendary political boss Tom Pendergast largely responsibl ...more
Jan 07, 2010 Aundrea rated it it was amazing
A look into Kansas City's past and you'll find it is certainly the case of the truth being stranger than fiction. This book has all the down and dirth on the Mob and how it affected polictics in Kansas City. One of the featured stories is the real story behind the movie "Casino".

St. Louis Dispatch, Ralph Coghlan: "We understand that Kansas City is one of the most wide-open towns in the United States, is that true?"

Tom Pendergast: If by calling the city wide-open, you mean gambling and poker gam
Erin Coleman
Jan 14, 2012 Erin Coleman rated it liked it
Tons of information in this book. Too much, in fact. A whole book could be written on any of the characters (who become very hard to keep straight) or events mentioned. I was also disappointed that what could have been a very engaging and exciting book read like an extremely dry textbook. Packed with history, but I think the author bit off more than he could chew. That being said, it sure was interesting to read about places a couple of blocks from where I was. Just wish the author hadn't been s ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Walt rated it liked it
Shelves: organized-crime
Interesting and entertaining, there is an overabundance on the machine and considerably less on the Mafia. Largely omitted was the very violent Prohibition era. If anything, the book continues to over-simply which suggests either too many gaps or not enough research. The works cited is lacking, so it is difficult retracing Hayde's steps to see if he did anything beyond the most basic newspaper references. Because there is so little available about the Kansas City mob, this book fills a niche.
Jan 05, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
While the writing style is fairly dry, I found the content of The Mafia and the Machine to be totally fascinating. I'd heard mention over the years of the Mafia's presence in Kansas City, but had no idea of the extent of it, or the city's colorful history as it's documented here. If you'd like a general overview of the seedier side of Kansas City from the beginning to end of the 20th century--complete with street addresses that might surprise you and have you looking at familiar neighborhoods in ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Taylor rated it really liked it
I am alittle under halfway through this book, and it is jam packed with history. Kansas City, although often nodded at in the Mafia genre, is seriously underappreciated by the general public. Hayde's book tells the true story of Kansas City and every dirty crime secret it holds, including its intertwinment with local politics. For those interested in Kansas City history, this book would be a great aid.
Oct 25, 2012 Jillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am actually surprised that I ended up liking this book as much as I did. Minus the multiple spelling errors, I walked away feeling educated about a subject I previously knew little about. I live in KC so I loved having locations of where things happened, because now I can go explore them. I know some places are long gone, but some is still standing. This book left me drooling for more information on the KC crime family. I am now impatiently waiting for more books from my library.
Kristin Shafel Omiccioli
I thought this was good! Although the writing wasn't necessarily eloquent, I thought the details were not overtly complicated and I loved learning more about my city. The addresses included in the book were maybe the best part—I will definitely go on my own little Kansas City Mafia tour now that I have addresses and landmarks to follow.
Tommy Estlund
Nov 14, 2013 Tommy Estlund rated it really liked it
What an interesting book! I think it definitely helps that I live here, recognize the names of some of the businesses, and the location of almost all of the events; I had no idea that these things happened here, and it is fascinating!

Julie Wittman
May 30, 2016 Julie Wittman rated it liked it
As a Kansas Citian, I found this account of how interrelated the Mafia and Pendergast's political machine were very enlightening. Quite a rough history we had!

Also hard to keep track of the players and all of their demises.
Jun 15, 2008 Marg rated it really liked it
As a KC native, this book was fascinating. You can't live in Kansas City without seeing how the mafia affected the social fabric of this place. I never knew how connected we were until I read this book. If you are interested in the mafia, I highly recommend this book.
Dec 26, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This author didn't cite a lot of sources, but what he presents matches all the stories I ever heard about the history of Kansas City. It's fun to read about the corruption that existed in KC, but I'm glad it's not so out in the open any more.
Jan 10, 2016 Roxanne rated it really liked it
I read this book about mobster activity in Kansas City. I always read about things that catch my interest.
Joshua Embrey
Jul 10, 2008 Joshua Embrey rated it it was amazing
Amazing, eye-popping book. I recommend this book to everyone! I thought that I knew a lot about the mafia before I read this book, but The Machine really opened my eyes.
Dec 02, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Yeah, I pretty much won't trust anyone after reading this book. Didn't know the Mafia had such a stronghold in the heartland. Recommended, especially if you're from Kansas City.
Jul 22, 2009 Katy rated it liked it
Very interesting. Highly recommend the Gangster Tour in Kansas City as well. It puts it all together and was entertaining as well!
Becca rated it it was ok
Dec 15, 2013
Sue Jochens
Sue Jochens rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2013
HalcyonDaze rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2016
Jerrilynn Sheffler
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Aug 29, 2015
Stacy rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2009
Shea Sylvia
Shea Sylvia rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2010
Earl rated it it was ok
Jun 16, 2010
Chris Manning
Chris Manning rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2012
John Lindsay
John Lindsay rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Cindy rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2014
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