This incisive survey of New York City gangsters from Sussman first focuses on Arnold Rothstein, the father of organized crime and the man who fixed the 1919 World Series. The kingpin of the Jewish mob, Rothstein mentored such gangsters as Meyer Lansky and Ben Siegel (who hated the nickname “Bugsy”). In the chapter on Dutch Schultz, Sussman mentions he had a bootlegger great-uncle who was indicted but never tried for the murder of another bootlegger. Schultz really did off one of his enemies by giving him cement shoes and dumping him in the East River. The book dispels myths such as that the Mafia wasn’t into drugs while reaffirming the claim that the FBI did employ mobsters as informants from time to time. The final chapter outlines the decline of the old-time bosses at the hands of late-20th-century prosecutors using the Racketeering Influenced and Corruption Organizations (RICO) Act. The introduction, in which the author tells of his own family’s mob encounters and connections, is alone worth the price of admission. This is perfect for Godfather fans.
[Add] this one to your pile for bedtime reading. It is especially good for that purpose because, as Jeffrey Sussman avows in his introduction, each chapter is more or less a freestanding tale that can be read out of sequence, as there is overlap but not chronological continuity among them. [Sussman] treats us to many delicious details in the course of his telling.
[T]his book is an easy read and covers a lot of the 20th century history of organized crime figures in New York, as this is revealed through short biographical accounts.
A lurid, blood-soaked compendium of New York City's most notorious and deadly criminals. With colorful nicknames like Mr. Lucky, The Gorilla Boys, The Bull, The Chin, and The Grim Reaper, they ruled the New York City streets for a century with lethal efficiency.
Jeffrey Sussman has written the next essential book on the Mob in New York. His impeccable sources embody a who’s who of experts in mafia history and lore…. If there were a Hall of Fame for mafia giants, Big Apple Gangsters, The Rise and Fall of the Mob in New York, could serve as a guidebook for visitors. It is a must read for anyone who is fascinated by the secret society we know as the American Mafia. Bravo!
Jeffrey Sussman has given us a thoroughly researched true-crime book that entertains the reader with information from both a historical and human perspective. The little known information and insights he provides makes this work a unique, wonderful experience for those with an interest in the New York City mob scene. Great job!
This book provides a most accurate, well documented history of the inception and origin of organized crime in New York. It contains the extraordinary rendition of the emergence of underworld figures and vivid descriptions in extraordinary prose in describing the soldiers and rising godfathers and their activities.
Big Apple Gangsters is a fast-paced brilliant history of the men who created the national crime syndicate and ran New York for much of the 20th Century. It is the perfect book for anyone who wants to know the history of the mob and learn many facts that had previously remained unknown. Sussman's accounts of mobsters and their crimes will fascinate readers. This is the best mob history that I have read.
As a teen my Uncle Mike Castellano, an associate of the Luchesse Family, informally introduced me to many "Goodfellas." When I became a defense attorney I was known as, "a friend of ours." Jeffrey Sussman has written an incredible account of the origins, rise, and slow demise of the Mafia Families.
7/13/2023, The Racket Report: On this episode of The Racket Report, Frank Morano spoke with Jeffrey Sussman, the best-selling author of 16 non-fiction books. The most recent is the paperback edition of Big Apple Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in New York. They discussed the mob's influence on his upbringing, The Mob in NYC, The Mob in Las Vegas, Boxing and the Mob.
11/17/20: The Southampton Press interviewed author about book; “In His Latest Book Jeffrey Sussman Explores The Underworld Of Big Apple Gangsters.”
12/28/20: Newsday interviewed author about book; “LI's Jeffrey Sussman talks about 'Big Apple Gangsters.'”
7/21/22, Gangland Wire: Jeffrey Sussman was interviewed about the release of the paperback edition.