A Tour Through the Dark Heart of Jazz-Age New York City

A site by site, crime by crime, outlaw by outlaw walking tour through the seedy underbelly of Roaring Twenties Manhattan—where gamblers and gangsters, crooks and cops, showgirls and speakeasies ruled the day and, always, the night.

Welcome to the kaleidoscopic netherworld of Jazz Age Manhattan. Here in the big city resides a very small world of power and vice, of bright lights and big money, of murder and more murder circling itself like a venomous snake. Names intersect. Places intersect. Rackets intersect. Gambling and bootlegging; Tammany Hall and City Hall; Wall Street and sports and the theater are all joined at the hip—or, rather, the hip flask.

At the heart of all this wickedness nests a “Prince of Darkness,” Arnold Rothstein: the New York City gangland kingpin of kingpins, the shady moneyman who bankrolled baseball’s infamous 1919 World Series Fix.

Hoodlums, hussies, whodunits, and hundreds of gangster-related sites—historian David Pietrusza’s GANGSTERLAND is garishly backlit by Times Square’s neon glare and boisterously choreographed by high-kicking chorus lines of gams and glitter. Shake hands with Arnold Rothstein, but count your fingers afterwards.

At day’s end, the wage of sin really is death.

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