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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  21 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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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 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Erin Coleman
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tommy Estlund
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!

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.
Joshua Embrey
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.
Very interesting. Highly recommend the Gangster Tour in Kansas City as well. It puts it all together and was entertaining as well!
Feb 19, 2013 Cheron rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
fascinating read about KC's history. I now know more about Pendergast and the River Quay.
April Fleming
Really great for anyone looking to learn more about KC's seedy past. Wonderfully descriptive.
An intriguing glimpse into the history of Kansas City.
interesting information, but not very well written.
Interesting read!
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
decent history
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