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Monk Eastman: The Gangster Who Became a War Hero

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4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
An intimate biography as well as an epic history, Monk Eastman vividly recounts the life and times of old New York’s most infamous gangster-cum-soldier as he made his way from the sooty streets and dingy saloons of the Lower East Side to the battlefields of the Western Front.

Born in 1873 to a respectable New York family, Monk was running wild in Manhattan’s rough Lower Eas
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Knopf
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Gary Quien
Apr 17, 2011 Gary Quien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What, you thought that things were bad in New York back in the 1960's and '70's (see review of "Savage City")? Please, get a clue and read your history.
Monk Eastman was a notorious gang leader on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1890's and 1900's, when the Irish were moving up and ceding the tenements to the new immigrants now arriving in great numbers, mostly Jews and Italians.
But the Irish, through the Tammany Hall political machine, ruled all branches of officialdom in the city, and
...more
William Greig
Nov 10, 2012 William Greig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For pure narration, Neil Hanson would only get four stars, to be honest. But his exacting research, and his drive to reconstruct hundred-year-old events push it over the top. It doesn't hurt that the subject of the book is quite possibly the baddest dude to ever commit crimes in the Big Apple. Monk was the gangster's gangster, always in the forefront of any combat, grabbing life by the throat and squeezing out everything he could from it. And yet he was also an inveterate animal-lover. He was a ...more
Calvin
I wanted to like this, I did. One of the early Gangsters who lost control of his gang by 1910, entered WW1 at 42-performs a number of heroic Acts enough to get a pardon. Yet went right back to crime and was killed a year or so after being recognized as a hero?

What is there about that story not to like?

But I was bored.
Armand
Apr 07, 2016 Armand rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-own
"Monk Eastman: The Gangster Who Became A War Hero" is a superb book and I highly recommend it. It is well-researched, informative and thorough while still being entertaining, lively and fast moving. This is one book that I'm going to have to get my own copy of, so I can return to it again and again.
Lenny
Sep 05, 2016 Lenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gangster, a bouncer, a smuggler, a thief. Many other things and also a war hero. This was Monk Eastman Roaring Twenties Persona.
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82592
It's been a long and winding road... since graduating with a degree in philosophy (now that's useful...) I've been by turns plasterer's mate, holiday camp redcoat, ice cream salesman, exhibition organiser, art critic, rugby league commentator, freelance journalist, editor of the Good Beer Guide, owner of the highest pub in Great Britain and - finally! - a full-time author. It may not be an ideal c ...more
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