American Gangsters, Then and Now: An Encyclopedia ranges from Western outlaws revered as Robin Hoods to the Depression’s flamboyant bootleggers and bank robbers to the late 20th century’s drug kingpins and “Dapper Dons.” It is the first comprehensive resource on the gangster’s historical evolution and unshakable grip on the American imagination.
American Gangsters, Then and Now tells the stories of a number of famous gangsters and gangs—Jesse James and Billy the Kid, the Black Hand, Al Capone, Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels, the Mafia, Crips and Bloods, and more. Avoiding sensationalism, the straightforward entries include biographical portraits and historical background for each subject, as well as accounts of infamous robberies, killings, and other events, all well documented with both archival newspapers and extensive research into the files of the FBI. Readers will understand the families, the places, and the times that produced these monumental criminals, as well as the public mindset that often found them sympathetic and heroic.
- Comprises 50 alphabetically organized entries on American gangsters and gangs from the post-Civil War era to the present
- Offers a wealth of primary sources, including newspaper articles dating back to the 1880s and FBI files obtained by the author
- Includes photographs of prominent American gangsters and the aftermaths of their crimes
- Presents a glossary of gangster slang, past and present
- Provides a comprehensive index