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Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit

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Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit chronicles the storied and hallowed gangland history of the notorious Detroit underworld. Scott M. Burnstein takes the reader inside the belly of the beast, tracking the bloodshed, exploits, and leadership of the southeast Michigan crime syndicate as never before seen in print. Through a stunning array of rare archi Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit chronicles the storied and hallowed gangland history of the notorious Detroit underworld. Scott M. Burnstein takes the reader inside the belly of the beast, tracking the bloodshed, exploits, and leadership of the southeast Michigan crime syndicate as never before seen in print. Through a stunning array of rare archival photographs and images, Motor City Mafia captures Detroit's most infamous past, from its inception in the early part of the 20th century, through the years when the iconic Purple Gang ruled the city's streets during Prohibition, through the 1930s and the formation of the local Italian mafia, and the Detroit crime family's glory days in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, all the way to the downfall of the area's mob reign in the 1980s and 1990s.


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Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit chronicles the storied and hallowed gangland history of the notorious Detroit underworld. Scott M. Burnstein takes the reader inside the belly of the beast, tracking the bloodshed, exploits, and leadership of the southeast Michigan crime syndicate as never before seen in print. Through a stunning array of rare archi Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit chronicles the storied and hallowed gangland history of the notorious Detroit underworld. Scott M. Burnstein takes the reader inside the belly of the beast, tracking the bloodshed, exploits, and leadership of the southeast Michigan crime syndicate as never before seen in print. Through a stunning array of rare archival photographs and images, Motor City Mafia captures Detroit's most infamous past, from its inception in the early part of the 20th century, through the years when the iconic Purple Gang ruled the city's streets during Prohibition, through the 1930s and the formation of the local Italian mafia, and the Detroit crime family's glory days in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, all the way to the downfall of the area's mob reign in the 1980s and 1990s.

30 review for Motor City Mafia: A Century of Organized Crime in Detroit

  1. 4 out of 5

    Renee Silvan

    This book was fair, and I appreciated all the effort it took to cull together so many images of organized crime figures. But I found myself wishing there would be have been something more to pull together all these people. They were all related, over the decades of the story in Detroit. This was a crime "family," after all. Sons grew up and took over, nephews and cousins and whatever were involved. It was easy to lose sight of who was related to who. I would have liked some kind of family tree o This book was fair, and I appreciated all the effort it took to cull together so many images of organized crime figures. But I found myself wishing there would be have been something more to pull together all these people. They were all related, over the decades of the story in Detroit. This was a crime "family," after all. Sons grew up and took over, nephews and cousins and whatever were involved. It was easy to lose sight of who was related to who. I would have liked some kind of family tree or chart that tied it together. Later in book, when I saw the last name Zerilli, for instance, I knew this guy had to be related to a Zerilli from an earlier chapter, but I couldn't find out how unless I went back through and re-read just about every caption. So yea, I guess I wanted to more clearly see relationships between these members of the operation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    From The Purple Gang to Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone to the modern day, great pictorial history that is more than just mugshots - several newspaper clipping and many FBI surveillance photos too. Very informative. The Jimmy Hoffa story is pieced together from who was where and who was missing, and I believe the author's best theory of the Hoffa disappearance is probably the best theory out there. For sports fans, there is a lot of sports bookmaking, legal and illegal, and involving Detroit Lions From The Purple Gang to Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone to the modern day, great pictorial history that is more than just mugshots - several newspaper clipping and many FBI surveillance photos too. Very informative. The Jimmy Hoffa story is pieced together from who was where and who was missing, and I believe the author's best theory of the Hoffa disappearance is probably the best theory out there. For sports fans, there is a lot of sports bookmaking, legal and illegal, and involving Detroit Lions' Alex Karras, Detroit Pistons' Isaiah Thomas, and boxer Tommy "Hitman" Hearns. Important crime history, although I didn't know more than half of these characters. I suppose their relative anonymity might have been key to their success? Very illuminating for Michigan history buffs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John Wood

    Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series is a great way to get a quick sense of an aspect of history through photographs and limited text and captions. I was fortunate to hear Scott Burnstein speak about the history of the underworld in Detroit at my local library. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about this subject. This book combines the many black and white pictures with his knowledge to deliver an interesting overview.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Primarily a picture book, this quick read gives an overview of organized crime in Detroit. Not much in the way of detail, but the pictures give a bit of insight into the times they're from. I didn't learn anything new about the Purple Gang, my primary interest, but someone new to the subject would get a good primer on the topic. This would be great for people who only want or need the view from ten thousand feet.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Walt

    Although largely a picture book, there is some analysis and discussion. It is very difficult to verify Burnstein's accuracy, especially when he refers to so many underworld characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Would have been interesting if the author had better descriptions of the book's images. Needed more background and needed to be tied together.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian Mulloy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Judy Hesse

  9. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill Holtzapple

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steve Crozier

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paula Creighton

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chad Toms

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandra A. Hodde

  17. 4 out of 5

    sophia .:*:☆

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Duncan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hohn-Walrath

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ray

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marnie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian Barnabo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Meredith

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Bauer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Harper

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gerianne F. Smith

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