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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle

The Friends of Eddie Coyle Pdf/ePub eBook Author: George V. Higgins
Editor: Holt Paperbacks
ISBN: 9781429931984
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The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins Summary

The classic novel from "America's best crime novelist" (Time), with a new introduction by Dennis Lehane George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel is a down-and-dirty tale of thieves, mobsters, and cops on the mean streets of Boston. When small-time gunrunner Eddie Coyle is convicted on a felony, he's looking at three years in the pen--that is, unless he sells out one of his big-fish clients to the DA. But which of the many hoods, gunmen, and executioners whom he calls his friends should he send up the river? Told almost entirely in crackling dialogue by a vivid cast of lowlifes and detectives, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. “The best crime novel ever written--makes The Maltese Falcon read like Nancy Drew.” -- Elmore Leonard

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.

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.

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

The Unpossessed

The Unpossessed Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Tess Slesinger
Editor: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 159017545X
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The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger Summary

Tess Slesinger’s 1934 novel, The Unpossessed details the ins and outs and ups and downs of left-wing New York intellectual life and features a cast of litterateurs, layabouts, lotharios, academic activists, and fur-clad patrons of protest and the arts. This cutting comedy about hard times, bad jobs, lousy marriages, little magazines, high principles, and the morning after bears comparison with the best work of Dawn Powell and Mary McCarthy.

The King's Coin

The King's Coin Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Paula Constant
Editor: Fehu Press
ISBN: 0645104000
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The King's Coin by Paula Constant Summary

AD 690: Caught between Emperor and Caliph, Spain's children fight for their nation - and each other. Far from his homeland, Theudemir of Aurariola counts it a curse when his commander asks him to spy on the Greek fleet he serves. His honour weighs him down in the wars between Emperor and Caliph, where men serve only themselves and treachery takes what battle does not. His best friend Yosef has disappeared, the woman he loves is fighting on Saharan sands, and an old enemy threatens the uneasy alliance he leads. When Spain's civil war threatens the lives of those he loves, it is time for Theudemir to go home. But with Spain divided by bitter civil war, home is no longer simple - and neither is love. "It is the same war we always fight. A war for coin we will never touch, won for men who will never bleed." Set against a sprawling medieval landscape, The King's Coin is the third book in the Visigoths of Spain saga, following the fortunes of three Spanish families caught in the fall of the Visigothic kingdom and the Arabic conquest of Spain. Visigothic nobleman Theudemir of Aurariola (Theo), fighting in the Imperial fleet, is caught up in the Arab/Byzantine wars on the shores of Anatolia. Jewish merchant Yosef must make an ally of the Caliph if he is to continue his epic journey to China in search of silk and return to rendezvous with Theo before the fleet sails. Meanwhile fierce, wild Lælia, heiress to the Spanish estate of Illiberis, travels into Saharan sands in search of allies as she prepares to defend her home against the corrupt ambitions of church and crown. In Spain itself, Theo's brothers are caught on opposite sides of the increasingly bitter civil war, but are united in their fight against those who threaten to destroy heart of the nation their family helped build. As the old nobility are divided by old enmities and traditional power games, a new generation risk everything to prepare their battered nation for the greater enemy marching toward Spanish shores. Whilst all must make foreign enemies and alliances to survive, Spain's children remain linked by a common enemy: Oppa, the scheming bastard son of the Spanish King, who is making dangerous alliances of his own. His ambitions have far reaching consequences, both at home and abroad. The time is coming when all are destined to reunite on Spanish shores. But with two armies laying claim to the Toledo throne and corruption splitting the church, the King's coin can no longer be trusted, and ambition is the only true faith. The second book in the Visigoths of Spain series, The King's Coin is preceded by The Votive Crown and a prequel novella, The Saharan Queen. The series is based upon real events and characters during the final turbulent years of Spain's Visigothic Kingdom. Set across a sprawling medieval canvas, The King's Coin journeys from Europe to the Far East and into the heart of the so-called Dark Ages, the period following the fall of the Roman Empire and preceding the Arab conquest of North Africa and Spain.

Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Raymond Arroyo
Editor: Image
ISBN: 0307423727
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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.

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)

Garden of Beasts

Garden of Beasts Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jeffery Deaver
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743258428
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Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver Summary

In the most ingenious and provocative thriller yet from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, a conscience-plagued mobster turned government hitman struggles to find his moral compass amid rampant treachery and betrayal in 1936 Berlin. Paul Schumann, a German American living in New York City in 1936, is a mobster hitman known as much for his brilliant tactics as for taking only "righteous" assignments. But then Paul gets caught. And the arresting officer offers him a stark choice: prison or covert government service. Paul is asked to pose as a journalist covering the summer Olympics taking place in Berlin. He's to hunt down and kill Reinhard Ernst -- the ruthless architect of Hitler's clandestine rearmament. If successful, Paul will be pardoned and given the financial means to go legit; if he refuses the job, his fate will be Sing Sing and the electric chair. Paul travels to Germany, takes a room in a boardinghouse near the Tiergarten -- the huge park in central Berlin but also, literally, the "Garden of Beasts" -- and begins his hunt. In classic Deaver fashion, the next forty-eight hours are a feverish cat-and-mouse chase, as Paul stalks Ernst through Berlin while a dogged Berlin police officer and the entire Third Reich apparatus search frantically for the American. Garden of Beasts is packed with fascinating period detail and features a cast of perfectly realized locals, Olympic athletes and senior Nazi officials -- some real, some fictional. With hairpin plot twists, the reigning "master of ticking-bomb suspense" (People) plumbs the nerve-jangling paranoia of prewar Berlin and steers the story to a breathtaking and wholly unpredictable ending.

Descartes' Bones

Descartes' Bones Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Russell Shorto
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 038552837X
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Descartes' Bones by Russell Shorto Summary

Sixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day. A New York Times Notable Book

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Eats, Shoots & Leaves Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Lynne Truss
Editor: Penguin
ISBN: 1101218290
FileSize: 664kb
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Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss Summary

We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.

A Cold Case

A Cold Case Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Philip Gourevitch
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429981105
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A Cold Case by Philip Gourevitch Summary

A tale of crime and punishment from a prizewinning writer. A few years ago, Andy Rosenzweig, an inspector for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, was abruptly reminded of an old, unsolved double homicide. It bothered him that Frankie Koehler, the notoriously dangerous suspect, had eluded capture and was still at large. Rosenzweig had known the victims of the crime, for they were childhood friends from the South Bronx: Richie Glennon, a Runyonesque ex-prizefighter at home with both cops and criminals, and Pete McGinn, a spirited restaurateur and father of four. Rosenzweig resolved to find the killer and close the case. In a surprising, intensely dramatic narrative, Philip Gourevitch brings together the story of Rosenzweig's pursuit with a mesmerizing account of Koehler's criminal personality and years on the lam. A Cold Case carries us deep into the lives and minds, the passions and perplexities, of an extraordinary cop and an extraordinary criminal whose lives were entwined over three decades. Set in a New York City that has all but disappeared, and written with a keen ear for the vibrant idiom of the colorful men and women who peopled its streets, this is nonetheless a book for our times. Gourevitch masterfully transforms a criminal investigation into a searching literary reckoning with the forces that drive one man to murder and another to hunt murderers."

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.