Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia’s New York
Murder, Inc. has been chronicled and mythologized for 70 years. Pop culture has done its part in spreading the myth of the murderous gangsters, whether via movie, radio, or television. Murder, Inc. was a gang of murderous thugs who resided primarily in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. They served as the enforcement arm for murderous mob bosses such as Albert Anastasia and Lepke Buchalter. Movies have portrayed the rise and fall of the gangsters, from Little Caesar to White Heat, Cagney to Robinson. Real life witnessed the violent acts of men such as Abe Reles, Legs Diamond, and Dutch Schultz; their exploits sold newspapers, left many bodies in the streets, and sparked outrage in the citizenry. They would wreak havoc, but men such as Thomas Dewey and Fiorello LaGuardia would prove potent proponents of law and order. The war would not end well for the bad men.
Murder, Inc and the Moral Life is an excellent take on the comparison of real and reel gangster life. The author pens a gripping narrative of the thug life, which was admired by some and abhorred by many. The author doesn’t mince words in detailing the depravity of the guns in Murder, Inc. He lets their actions speak for themselves as well as their punishment. A true-crime history that needs to be read!
Robert Weldon Whalen
Fordham University Press