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Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950
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Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family 1900-1950

2.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  21 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A riveting new biography about organized crime in Kansas City, Open City documents an era that continues to hold great fascination for history buffs as well as lovers of mystery and drama. It relates the roots of the secret crime societies of Southern Italy and Sicily. When they arrived in Kansas City, they became known as the Black Hand. From modest beginnings, the develo ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published June 12th 2008 by Leathers Publishing
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Sep 20, 2010 Mark rated it it was ok
The author, Mr. Ouseley, may have had a long career investigating organized crime, but that does not mean he is a competent author. This book seriously suffers in its lack of editing. The first, most obvious problem, is in typographical errors. Names spelled different ways within a single paragraph, missing punctuation, poor grammar, etc., plague this book from beginning to end.

The second, and probably more important, area where an editor was needed was the content. Perhaps it is because he has
Jul 31, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is very dense and if you’re interested in the history of Kansas City or the history of organized crime it’s a useful resource. Fair warning however: Ouseley is not by trade a writer. Organizationally, the book is a mess. Ouseley couldn’t decide if he wanted to organize by topic, biography, or chronologically, so he tries a bit of all three and it doesn’t work very well. Also, the book needs a copy editor. Badly. Don’t trust his spelling. And these weaknesses are a real shame, because Ousele ...more
Oct 28, 2008 Thomas rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
Ouseley does a competent job with KC Mafia history to 1950. The major players, criminals and political bosses, are all discussed, and the significant historical events are described in detail. However, his limited writing ability, a lack of consideration for fellow historians and his sketchy awareness of Mafia history outside of Missouri cause problems for readers.

The author deserves credit for attempting to trace the evolution of organized crime to the region's very early history and for spend
Michael Dohlman
May 09, 2013 Michael Dohlman rated it it was ok
Not a very well written book. Lots of grammar errors. Ouseley obviously has a great amount of knowledge on the subject, but definitely to much information is dumped onto the reader.
If KC organized crime is an interest, I would highly recommend The Mafia and the Machine, by Frank Hayde. Much better read.
Jun 28, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
"Open City" is a nearly comprehensive account of the mafia in Kansas City. The city was truly corrupt, especially during the heyday of the 20's and 30's, permeating into politics. I would only recommend this one to a true history die-hard because Ousely's writing is all over the place.
Mar 12, 2015 Kbullock rated it it was ok
Informative, but the author desperately needed an editor, or at least a proofreader.
Jun 03, 2010 Mrose rated it liked it
interesting KC lore...needs editing imo
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