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Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life
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Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Based on interviews with Lansky's close friends & criminal associates, with law enforcement experts, & with members of Lansky's own family, & using previously unpublished documents written by Lansky himself, this is both the biography of a mob operator & a social history of American crime.
Hardcover, 1st, 559 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Little, Brown & Co. (Boston/Toronto/London) (first published 1991)
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I noticed some of the reviews on Amazon of this book called it a whitewash. I would say thats true to say the least. For that matter at times it almost reads like a tribute. This shouldn't be surprising considering Laceys main primary source for this book was Lanskys son. You would think Meyer Lansky was just a hard working business man that straddled the line of legality from time to time when he ran his bootleg liquor and gambling parlors. He claims that Lansky never ordered a hit or even used ...more
Interesting and well written biography of Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky. The book begins with his birth in a small Jewish village called Grodno in Eastern Europe and subsequent immigration at ten years of age to America with his family. The book details his youth as a precocious young gambler and his entry into bootlegging during Prohibition years. LITTLE MAN describes his underworld contacts and friends (Frank Costello, Benny Siegel, Lepke Buchalter, Charlie "Lucky" Luciano etc) and the most not ...more
A fantastic biography of Meyer Lansky, the greatest Jewish Gangster in America.
Erik Graff
Feb 22, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: US citizens
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Well researched and very well written, this is a biography of Meyer Lansky (ca. 1902-1983) and his family members nested within a social history of organized crime which goes far in the direction of demythologization.

Although involved in illegal enterprizes, mostly concerning gambling, throughout his life, and although expensively pursued by local and federal authorities through much of it, Meyer Lansky was rarely convicted of anything and, despite his enormous reputation as a mob boss, died lea
James R. Nelson
I enjoyed this book very much but it was NOTHING like I thought it would be. Very amazing that the author did not include one bad thing to say about this infamous gangster. I'd like to find another book on the infamous Meyer Lansky and see if Robert Lacey forgot to include a few chapters in his book!
Michelle Everhart
I read this book at least once a year, and it's still one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes mafia Doc's. Very well researched and I know from History channel Documentaries that Lacey spent allot of tie getting to know the Lansky family.
J.H Gaines
absolutely Loved this book1 we have all seen the films and the documentary's so I brought this off of eBay and gave it a go, it is one of the only books I have actually read twice.
it is fascinating to see how New York was at the turn of the century and legalised gambling came to be in america, it is a great insight into gambling from the back room games in New York to the swanky parlours in Sarasota springs and Miami to ultimately Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
the book captures the feel of the tim
It is of interest to read the book now, in 2012, a few years after the death of the scumbag. This book is a crude, now I think laughably crude, attempt to lionise a little twerp. Ironically it shows where he made his roots- preying on his fellow Jews in the most violent manner. I did not see a mention of the prostitution and porn "industry" that he helped spawn- if that is the correct word!
I started but did not want to read all of it- the writer and his subject, indeed most of the characters are
An excellent book on Lansky. Probably the best. Lacey details his gambling career; collects as much as he can on Lansky's bootleg career; and probably spends too much time on Lansky's legal and family troubles late in life. Lacey clearly argues that Lansky was poor and in retirement by the time he left the country to avoid legal proceedings.
Micky Livingston
This was a very good book for those who love Mafia based stories. I bought two of Robert Laceys books and enjoyed it immensely. I am using it for research on my second book, "The Saratoga Project."
While the book downplays some of Lansky's gambling connections, it does make a good point that organized crime is not as well organized as politicians have claimed.
A real page-turner that dispels a lot of commonly held myths about Lansky's wealth and power, and myths about organized crime in general. Super book!
Excellent biography of Meyer Lansky. "The Chairman of the Board". A genius and one of the most powerful Americans of the last century.
I am really loving this book so far. I am interested in all things Gangster!
This was read during my mafia stage. Which I may or may not still be in.
Oct 11, 2007 Tricia is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
so far fascinting lower east side stuff when it was full of Jewish gangsters.
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Robert Lacey is a British historian noted for his original research, which gets him close to - and often living alongside - his subjects. He is the author of numerous international bestsellers.

After writing his first works of historical biography, Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh, Robert wrote Majesty, his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II. Published in 1977, Majesty remains
More about Robert Lacey...
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