Smalltime A Story Of My Family And The Mob

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Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob

Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob Pdf/ePub eBook Author: ,
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245594
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Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob by , Summary

One of Newsweek's Most Highly Anticipated New Books of 2021 Family secrets emerge as a best-selling author dives into the history of the mob in small-town America. Best-selling author Russell Shorto, praised for his incisive works of narrative history, never thought to write about his own past. He grew up knowing his grandfather and namesake was a small-town mob boss but maintained an unspoken family vow of silence. Then an elderly relative prodded: You’re a writer—what are you gonna do about the story? Smalltime is a mob story straight out of central casting—but with a difference, for the small-town mob, which stretched from Schenectady to Fresno, is a mostly unknown world. The location is the brawny postwar factory town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The setting is City Cigar, a storefront next to City Hall, behind which Russ and his brother-in-law, “Little Joe,” operate a gambling empire and effectively run the town. Smalltime is a riveting American immigrant story that travels back to Risorgimento Sicily, to the ancient, dusty, hill-town home of Antonino Sciotto, the author’s great-grandfather, who leaves his wife and children in grinding poverty for a new life—and wife—in a Pennsylvania mining town. It’s a tale of Italian Americans living in squalor and prejudice, and of the rise of Russ, who, like thousands of other young men, created a copy of the American establishment that excluded him. Smalltime draws an intimate portrait of a mobster and his wife, sudden riches, and the toll a lawless life takes on one family. But Smalltime is something more. The author enlists his ailing father—Tony, the mobster’s son—as his partner in the search for their troubled patriarch. As secrets are revealed and Tony’s health deteriorates, the book become an urgent and intimate exploration of three generations of the American immigrant experience. Moving, wryly funny, and richly detailed, Smalltime is an irresistible memoir by a masterful writer of historical narrative.

The Island at the Center of the World

The Island at the Center of the World Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Russell Shorto
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 1400096332
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The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto Summary

In a riveting, groundbreaking narrative, Russell Shorto tells the story of New Netherland, the Dutch colony which pre-dated the Pilgrims and established ideals of tolerance and individual rights that shaped American history. "Astonishing . . . A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past." --The New York Times When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.” The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.

Gospel Truth

Gospel Truth Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Russell Shorto
Editor: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453265929
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Gospel Truth by Russell Shorto Summary

Russell Shorto meticulously investigates Christian history and the Bible’s New Testament to reveal the true, historical Jesus Christ. For roughly two thousand years, the world has known only the biblical depiction of Jesus: the virgin birth, miraculous life, and resurrection. Recently, scholars have pursued the historical Jesus Christ by poring through texts, examining ancient documents, and even holding votes. They make a fresh attempt to answer some of history’s greatest questions: Who was he? Where did he live? What did he think? And was the Bible’s account true? In Gospel Truth, bestselling author Russell Shorto (The Island at the Center of the World) brings a journalist’s eye to the life of Jesus Christ. Shorto looks into the Jesus Seminar, where historians seek and analyze evidence of the world’s most famous carpenter’s son. He compiles their research and ideas to create a composite biographical portrait of Yeshu, a man of ordinary beginnings who changed the world in extraordinary ways. A skillfully compiled biblical interpretation, Shorto shows “a Jesus stripped of the unhistorical” (Library Journal). The result will fascinate believers and nonbelievers alike.

In Hoffa's Shadow

In Hoffa's Shadow Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jack Goldsmith
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374712492
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In Hoffa's Shadow by Jack Goldsmith Summary

"The Irishman is great art . . . but it is not, as we know, great history . . . Frank Sheeran . . . surely didn’t kill Hoffa . . . But who pulled the trigger? . . . For some of the real story, and for a great American tale in itself, you want to go to Jack Goldsmith’s book, In Hoffa’s Shadow.” —Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal "In Hoffa’s Shadow is compulsively readable, deeply affecting, and truly groundbreaking in its re-examination of the Hoffa case . . . a monumental achievement." —James Rosen, The Wall Street Journal As a young man, Jack Goldsmith revered his stepfather, longtime Jimmy Hoffa associate Chuckie O’Brien. But as he grew older and pursued a career in law and government, he came to doubt and distance himself from the man long suspected by the FBI of perpetrating Hoffa’s disappearance on behalf of the mob. It was only years later, when Goldsmith was serving as assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and questioning its misuse of surveillance and other powers, that he began to reconsider his stepfather, and to understand Hoffa’s true legacy. In Hoffa’s Shadow tells the moving story of how Goldsmith reunited with the stepfather he’d disowned and then set out to unravel one of the twentieth century’s most persistent mysteries and Chuckie’s role in it. Along the way, Goldsmith explores Hoffa’s rise and fall and why the golden age of blue-collar America came to an end, while also casting new light on the century-old surveillance state, the architects of Hoffa’s disappearance, and the heartrending complexities of love and loyalty.

Revolution Song: The Story of America's Founding in Six Remarkable Lives

Revolution Song: The Story of America's Founding in Six Remarkable Lives Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Russell Shorto
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245551
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Revolution Song: The Story of America's Founding in Six Remarkable Lives by Russell Shorto Summary

“An engaging piece of historical detective work and narrative craft.” —Chicago Tribune At a time when America’s founding principles are being debated as never before, Russell Shorto looks back to the era in which those principles were forged. In Revolution Song, Shorto weaves the lives of six people into a seamless narrative that casts fresh light on the range of experience in colonial America on the cusp of revolution. The result is a brilliant defense of American values with a compelling message: the American Revolution is still being fought today, and its ideals are worth defending.

Dog Flowers

Dog Flowers Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Danielle Geller
Editor: One World
ISBN: 1984820400
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Dog Flowers by Danielle Geller Summary

A daughter returns home to the Navajo reservation to retrace her mother’s life in a memoir that is both a narrative and an archive of one family’s troubled history “An honest, intimate, and heart-wrenching memoir that explores the fractured family, the damaging effects of alcoholism and poverty, and what it means to seek healing from the legacies of trauma.”—Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of the National Book Award finalist Sabrina & Corina When Danielle Geller’s mother dies of alcohol withdrawal during an attempt to get sober, Geller returns to Florida and finds her mother’s life packed into eight suitcases. Most were filled with clothes, except for the last one, which contained diaries, photos, and letters, a few undeveloped disposable cameras, dried sage, jewelry, and the bandana her mother wore on days she skipped a hair wash. Geller, an archivist and a writer, uses these pieces of her mother’s life to try and understand her mother’s relationship to home, and their shared need to leave it. Geller embarks on a journey where she confronts her family's history and the decisions that she herself had been forced to make while growing up, a journey that will end at her mother's home: the Navajo reservation. Dog Flowers is an arresting, photo-lingual memoir that masterfully weaves together images and text to examine mothers and mothering, sisters and caretaking, and colonized bodies. Exploring loss and inheritance, beauty and balance, Danielle Geller pays homage to our pasts, traditions, and heritage, to the families we are given and the families we choose.

Murder in Canaryville

Murder in Canaryville Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jeff Coen
Editor: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 1641602848
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Murder in Canaryville by Jeff Coen Summary

The grandson and great-grandson of Chicago police officers, Chicago Police Detective James Sherlock was CPD through-and-through. His career had seen its share of twists and turns, from his time working undercover to thwart robberies on Chicago's L trains, to his side gig working security at The Jerry Springer Show, to his years as a homicide detective. He thought he had seen it all. But on this day, he was at the records center to see the case file for the murder of John Hughes, who was seventeen years old when he was gunned down in a park on Chicago's Southwest Side on May 15, 1976. The case had haunted many in the department for years and its threads led everywhere: Police corruption. Hints of the influence of the Chicago Outfit. A crooked judge. Even the belief that the cover-up extended to &“hizzoner&” himself—legendary Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Sherlock, expecting to retire within a year, had a dream assignment: working cold cases for the Chicago office of the FBI. And with time for one more big investigation, he had chosen this stubborn case. More than forty years after the Hughes killing, he was hopeful he could finally put the case to rest. Then the records clerk handed Sherlock a thin manila folder. A murder that had roiled the city and had been investigated for years had been reduced to a few reports and photographs. What should have been a massive file with notes and transcripts from dozens of interviews was nowhere to be found. Sherlock could have left the records center without the folder and cruised into retirement, and no one would have noticed. Instead, he tucked the envelope under his arm and carried it outside.

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Annalee Newitz
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039365267X
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Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz Summary

One of Apple's Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.

Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo

Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Michael F. Rizzo
Editor: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 161423549X
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Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo by Michael F. Rizzo Summary

Stories abound about legendary New York City gangsters like "Lucky" Luciano, but Buffalo has housed its fair share of thugs and mobsters too. While many were nothing more than common criminals or bank robbers, a powerful crime family headed by local boss Stefano Magaddino emerged in the 1920s. Close to Canada, Niagara Falls and Buffalo were perfect avenues through which to transport booze, and Magaddino and his Mafiosi maintained a stranglehold on the city until his death in 1974. Local mob expert Michael Rizzo takes a tour of Buffalo's mafia exploits everything from these brutal gangsters' favorite hangouts to secret underground tunnels to murder.

Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Raymond Arroyo
Editor: Image
ISBN: 9780307423726
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Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The extraordinary saga of Mother Angelica--who passed away on Easter, 2016--founder of the multimillion-dollar Eternal Word Television Network and “the most influential Catholic woman in America” according to Time magazine In 1981, the year after Ted Turner founded CNN, a simple nun, using merely her entrepreneurial instincts and $200, launched what would become the world’ s largest religious media empire in the garage of a Birmingham, Alabama, monastery. Under her guidance, the Eternal Word Television Network grew at a staggering pace, both in viewership and in influence, to where it now reaches over a hundred million viewers in hundreds of countries around the globe. Born Rita Rizzo in Canton, Ohio, in 1923, Mother Angelica was abandoned by her father and raised in poverty by a mother who suffered from suicidal depressions. As a young woman, Rita developed severe abdominal pain that doctors dismissed as a “nervous condition,” but when she sought the prayers of a local mystic, her symptoms disappeared. Awakened to the power of prayer, she vowed to dedicate her life to God and became a cloistered nun, expecting to spend her life hidden from the world. But Rita’s faith soon compelled her to unlikely endeavors, from establishing a monastery in Alabama to starting the world’s first Catholic cable network. Relying solely on “God’s providence,” Mother Angelica built an empire without concern for budgets or fund-raising campaigns, achieving what even the highest levels of the Catholic Church had been unable to do. Raymond Arroyo combines his journalist’ s objectivity and eye for detail with more than five years of exclusive interviews with Mother Angelica. He traces Mother Angelica’s tortured rise to success and exposes for the first time the fierce opposition she faced, both inside and outside of her church. It is an inspiring story of survival and proof that one woman’s faith can move more than mountains.

American Tabloid

American Tabloid Pdf/ePub eBook Author: James Ellroy
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 0307798437
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American Tabloid by James Ellroy Summary

CHOSEN BY TIME MAGAZINE AS ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR "ONE HELLISHLY EXCITING RIDE." --Detroit Free Press The '50s are finished. Zealous young senator Robert Kennedy has a red-hot jones to nail Jimmy Hoffa. JFK has his eyes on the Oval Office. J. Edgar Hoover is swooping down on the Red Menace. Howard Hughes is dodging subpoenas and digging up Kennedy dirt. And Castro is mopping up the bloody aftermath of his new communist nation. "HARD-BITTEN. . . INGENIOUS. . . ELLROY SEGUES INTO POLITICAL INTRIGUE WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT." --The New York Times In the thick of it: FBI men Kemper Boyd and Ward Littell. They work every side of the street, jerking the chains of made men, street scum, and celebrities alike, while Pete Bondurant, ex-rogue cop, freelance enforcer, troubleshooter, and troublemaker, has the conscience to louse it all up. "VASTLY ENTERTAINING." --Los Angeles Times Mob bosses, politicos, snitches, psychos, fall guys, and femmes fatale. They're mixing up a molotov cocktail guaranteed to end the country's innocence with a bang. Dig that crazy beat: it's America's heart racing out of control. . . . "A SUPREMELY CONTROLLED WORK OF ART." --The New York Times Book Review

Sex on the Moon

Sex on the Moon Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Ben Mezrich
Editor: Anchor
ISBN: 0385533934
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Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich Summary

From the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, this is the incredible true story of how a college student and two female accomplices stole some of the rarest objects on the planet—moon rocks—from an "impregnable" high-tech vault. But breaking into a highly secure laboratory wasn't easy. Thad Roberts, an intern in a prestigious NASA training program, would have to concoct a meticulous plan to get past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways even before he could get his hands on the 600-pound safe. And then how was he supposed to get it out? And what does one do with an item so valuable that it's illegal even to own? With his signature high-velocity style, Mezrich reconstructs the outlandish heist and tells a story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders Pdf/ePub eBook Author: S. E. Hinton
Editor: Penguin
ISBN: 1101642610
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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton Summary

50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging. No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far. The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published. "The Outsiders transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world." —The New York Times "Taut with tension, filled with drama." —The Chicago Tribune "[A] classic coming-of-age book." —Philadelphia Daily News A New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Book A Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book An ALA Best Book for Young Adults Winner of the Massachusetts Children's Book Award

A Brotherhood Betrayed

A Brotherhood Betrayed Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Michael Cannell
Editor: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 1250204402
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A Brotherhood Betrayed by Michael Cannell Summary

The riveting true story of the rise and fall of Murder, Inc. and the executioner-turned-informant whose mysterious death became a turning point in Mob history. In the fall of 1941, a momentous trial was underway that threatened to end the careers and lives of New York’s most brutal mob kingpins. The lead witness, Abe Reles, had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc., the enforcement arm of a coast-to-coast mob network known as the Commission. But the man responsible for coolly silencing hundreds of informants was about to become the most talkative snitch of all. In exchange for police protection, Reles was prepared to rat out his murderous friends, from Albert Anastasia to Bugsy Siegel—but before he could testify, his shattered body was discovered on a rooftop outside his heavily-guarded hotel room. Was it a botched escape, or punishment for betraying the loyalty of the country’s most powerful mobsters? Michael Cannell's A Brotherhood Betrayed traces the history of Murder, Inc. through Reles’ rise from street punk to murder chieftain to stool pigeon, ending with his fateful death on a Coney Island rooftop. It resurrects a time when crime became organized crime: a world of money and power, depravity and corruption, street corner ambushes and elaborately choreographed hits by wise-cracking foot soldiers with names like Buggsy Goldstein and Tick Tock Tannenbaum. For a brief moment before World War II erupted, America fixated on the delicate balance of trust and betrayal on the Brooklyn streets. This is the story of the one man who tipped the balance.

The Ice Man

The Ice Man Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Philip Carlo
Editor: St. Martin\'s Press
ISBN: 9781429902663
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The Ice Man by Philip Carlo Summary

Philip Carlo's The Ice Man spent over six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Top Mob Hitman. Devoted Family Man. Doting Father. For thirty years, Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski led a shocking double life, becoming the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey. Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique. This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties. His family never suspected a thing. Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.

Mob Girl

Mob Girl Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Teresa Carpenter
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501166123
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Mob Girl by Teresa Carpenter Summary

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of Missing Beauty comes a fascinating inside look at the mafia. Growing up among racketeers on the Lower East Side of New York City, Arlyne Brickman associated with mobsters. Drawn to the glamorous and flashy lifestyle, she was soon dating "wiseguys" and running errands for them; but after years as a mob girlfriend, Arlyne began to get in on the action herself—eventually becoming a police informant and major witness in the government's case against the Colombo crime family.

The Big Crowd

The Big Crowd Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Kevin Baker
Editor: HMH
ISBN: 0544105915
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The Big Crowd by Kevin Baker Summary

Two Irish brothers journey from New York’s East River to its halls of power in this “masterwork of historical fiction” by the author of Dreamland (Parade). Inspired by one of the great, unsolved murders in mob history, this novel tells the sweeping story of Charlie O’Kane, a poor Irish immigrant who works his way up from beat cop to mayor of New York at the city’s postwar zenith. Famous, powerful, and married to a fashion model, millions of local citizens look up to him, including his younger brother, Tom—until he is accused of abetting a shocking crime. The charges stem from his days as a crusading Brooklyn DA, when he sent the notorious killers of Murder, Inc., to the chair—only to let a vital witness fall to his death while under police guard. Now out of office, Charlie is hiding from the authorities in a Mexico City hotel. To uncover what really happened, Tom must confront stunning truths about his brother, himself, and the secret workings of the great city he loves. From the Brooklyn waterfront to City Hall, the battlefields of World War II to the glamorous nightclubs of 1940s Manhattan, The Big Crowd is filled with powerbrokers and gangsters, celebrities and socialites, scheming cardinals and battling dockside priests. But ultimately it is an American story of the bonds and betrayals of brotherhood—from “the lit world’s sharpest chronicler of New York’s past” (Rolling Stone).

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Russell Shorto
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 0385534582
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Amsterdam by Russell Shorto Summary

An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World Tourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy canals; student travelers know it for its legal brothels and hash bars; art lovers know it for Rembrandt's glorious portraits. But the deeper history of Amsterdam, what makes it one of the most fascinating places on earth, is bound up in its unique geography-the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one of its mayors, "craziness is a value." But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, one that profoundly influenced America: political and economic freedom. Amsterdam was home not only to religious dissidents and radical thinkers but to the world's first great global corporation. In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a sixteenth-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch-and world-history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam.

Five-Finger Discount

Five-Finger Discount Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Helene Stapinski
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 037550690X
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Five-Finger Discount by Helene Stapinski Summary

Now a PBS documentary, this astonishing memoir of growing up in rough-and-tumble Jersey City “will steal your heart” (People) With deadpan humor and obvious affection, Five-Finger Discount recounts the story of an unforgettable New Jersey family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, and mobster-wannabes. In the memoir Mary Karr calls “a page-turner,” Helene Stapinski ingeniously weaves the checkered history of her hometown of Jersey City—a place known for its political corruption and industrial blight—with the tales that have swirled around her relatives for decades. Navigating a childhood of toxic waste and tough love, Stapinski tells an extraordinary tale at once heartbreaking and hysterically funny. Praise for Five-Finger Discount “By turns hilarious and alarming, [Helene Stapinski’s] book reads on the surface like something by Damon Runyon and Elmore Leonard, with a dark undertow of real-life pain and disillusion.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “It’s a brilliant book, a darling book. It is the blessedly modest chronicle of a magical consciousness that seems to have been born pulling diamonds out of the muck, hearing angels’ voices in the fiercest thunder. . . . I adored every word of this wondrous book. Get it. Read it.”—Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun “In the tradition of . . . Rita Mae Brown and Amy Tan, Ms. Stapinski is an exciting writer, unabashedly candid, and at the same time unashamedly self-contained. Five-Finger Discount is a must-read.”—Victoria Gotti, The New York Observer “What [Frank] McCourt did for Limerick, Ireland, Helene Stapinski does for Jersey City.”—The Star-Ledger “Hugely entertaining.”—The Sunday Times (London)

The Vapors

The Vapors Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David Hill
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1250086124
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The Vapors by David Hill Summary

A 2020 New York Times notable book | One of the Chicago Tribune's best nonfiction books of 2020 "Complex, turbulent, as haunting as a pedal steel solo" —Jonathan Miles, The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) "One of 21 books we can't wait to read in 2020" —Thrillist | A New York Times Book Review summer reading pick | A GQ best book of 2020 | Named one of the 10 best July books by The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor | A Kirkus Reviews hottest summer read | A Publishers Weekly summer reads staff pick The incredible true story of America's original—and forgotten—capital of vice Back in the days before Vegas was big, when the Mob was at its peak and neon lights were but a glimmer on the horizon, a little Southern town styled itself as a premier destination for the American leisure class. Hot Springs, Arkansas was home to healing waters, Art Deco splendor, and America’s original national park—as well as horse racing, nearly a dozen illegal casinos, countless backrooms and brothels, and some of the country’s most bald-faced criminals. Gangsters, gamblers, and gamines: all once flocked to America’s forgotten capital of vice, a place where small-town hustlers and bigtime high-rollers could make their fortunes, and hide from the law. The Vapors is the extraordinary story of three individuals—spanning the golden decades of Hot Springs, from the 1930s through the 1960s—and the lavish casino whose spectacular rise and fall would bring them together before blowing them apart. Hazel Hill was still a young girl when legendary mobster Owney Madden rolled into town in his convertible, fresh off a crime spree in New York. He quickly established himself as the gentleman Godfather of Hot Springs, cutting barroom deals and buying stakes in the clubs at which Hazel made her living—and drank away her sorrows. Owney’s protégé was Dane Harris, the son of a Cherokee bootlegger who rose through the town’s ranks to become Boss Gambler. It was his idea to build The Vapors, a pleasure palace more spectacular than any the town had ever seen, and an establishment to rival anything on the Vegas Strip or Broadway in sophistication and supercharged glamour. In this riveting work of forgotten history, native Arkansan David Hill plots the trajectory of everything from organized crime to America’s fraught racial past, examining how a town synonymous with white gangsters supported a burgeoning black middle class. He reveals how the louche underbelly of the South was also home to veterans hospitals and baseball’s spring training grounds, giving rise to everyone from Babe Ruth to President Bill Clinton. Infused with the sights and sounds of America’s entertainment heyday—jazz orchestras and auctioneers, slot machines and suited comedians—The Vapors is an arresting glimpse into a bygone era of American vice.