Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Gangs of New York
Herbert Asbury


This book is a tour through a now unrecognisable city of abysmal poverty and habitual violence centred around the infamous slum of Five Points, with its rival Irish and American gangs. Cobbled from legend, memory, police records, the self-aggrandizements of aging crooks, popular journalism, and solid historical research, this is a powerful account of New York City’s tumultuos past. Asbury presents the definitive work on this subject, an illumination of the gangs of old New York that ultimately gave rise to the modern Mafia and its depiction in cult films like The Godfather.

Paperback, 384pp
Arrow Books, 2003 (1928)
ISBN 9780099436744