The Gangs of New York (book)
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The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld is a 1928 non-fiction book by Herbert Asbury about New York gangs in the 19th century, and was loosely adapted into the film Gangs of New York by director Martin Scorsese. It details the rise and fall of gangs prior to the domination of the mafia and Prohibition of the 1920s. First published in 1928, Herbert Asbury's whirlwind tour through the low-life of nineteenth-century New York has become an indispensable classic of urban history.
Focusing on the saloon halls, gambling dens, and winding alleys of the Bowery and the notorious Five Points district of Lower Manhattan, The Gangs of New York dramatically evokes the destitution and shocking violence of a turbulent era, when colorfully named criminals like "Dandy" Johnny Dolan, William Poole (aka Bill the Butcher), and Hell-Cat Maggie lurked in the shadows, and infamous gangs like the Plug Uglies, Dead Rabbits, and the Bowery Boys ruled the streets. A rogues gallery of prostitutes, pimps, poisoners, pickpockets, murderers, and thieves, The Gangs of New York is a dramatic and entertaining glimpse at a city's dark past.
- Comparison of the book and movie at herbertasbury.com
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