Most of us think of gangsters with names such as Capone, Luciano or even the fictional Vito Corleone. Or we might think of the Irish mobsters. However, when organized crime reared its ugly head in the late 1920sin New York, leading the effort were members of the Jewish community, men like Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel–bothJews.
Rich Cohen’s account of Jewish gangsters, Tough Jews, brings to life that story of Jewish involvement in the world of organized crime. Cohen starts his history with stories heard from family members, They provided him a glimpse into a world that can barely be related to today’s generation of Jews living in America. These Jews went to prison for committing violent felonies, not white-collar crimes.
Cohen conducted extensive research through old journals, police records, and court reports to uncover some of the stories. His book serves two purposes. It reminds us that Jews in American were truly part of the immigrant experience and that they were no different than any of the immigrants who came to this land.
Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:
Contributor: Stuart Shiffman, Retired Judge