Rogues’ Gallery: The Birth of Modern Policing and Organized Crime in Gilded Age New York

John Oller. Dutton, $32 (528p) ISBN 978-1-524745-65-3
Oller (White Shoe: How a New Breed of Wall Street Lawyers Changed Big Business and the American Century) takes an epic and engrossing look at the history of New York City crime and law enforcement from the early 1870s to about 1910. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including state senate investigative hearings, Oller weaves an enthralling narrative that presents both the origins of the NYPD and of organized crime in the Big Apple. He examines the careers of pioneering police detectives Thomas Byrnes and Arthur Carey, whose efforts enabled the city’s police investigators to be regarded as being on the same level as Scotland Yard. Oller also describes how Gilded Age gang members and thieves evolved to become “low-life mirror images of the more exalted robber barons, who cut corners to earn their untold riches.” Oller also focuses on colorful lesser-knowns, like devoted mother and synagogue attendee Marm Mandelbaum, a prominent fence who expanded into “financing bank robberies.” True crime fans will relish what is likely to be the definitive account of this seminal period for lawbreakers and law enforcers alike. Agent: Jim Donovan, Jim Donovan Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/12/2021
Release date: 09/21/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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