Barnaby Thieme's Reviews > The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld

The Barbary Coast by Herbert Asbury
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Mar 06, 09

Read in March, 2009

It's hard to know what's true in this old work of yellow historiography, but some cursory research suggests that enough of it is real to make reading the book worthwhile.

San Francisco's early history is more shocking than I could have guessed, with criminal factions, corrupt town halls, coalitions of the wealthy, and huge vigilante groups supplying leaders and figureheads whose names now deck the streets. If the author is to be believed, the city was a foul hive of scum and villainy for many decades before any semblance of law and order took hold.

An interesting book.
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message 1: by Carrie (new)

Carrie I'd love to borrow that when you are done!


Barnaby Thieme Sure! Please remind me ...


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