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—The New York Times
Edgar Award Finalist
Matt Silverman and
|Audio Version a |
Winner of the
History remembers Arnold Rothstein as the man who fixed the 1919 World Series, an underworld genius.
The real-life model for The Great Gatsby's Meyer Wolfsheim and Nathan Detroit from Guys and Dolls,
Rothstein was much more—and less—than a fixer of baseball games. He was everything that made 1920s
Manhattan roar. Featuring Jazz Age Broadway with its thugs, speakeasies, showgirls, political movers and
shakers, and stars of the Golden Age of Sports, this is a biography of the man who dominated an age.
Arnold Rothstein was a loan shark, pool shark, bookmaker, thief, fence of stolen property, political fixer,
Wall Street swindler, labor racketeer, rumrunner, and mastermind of the
modern drug trade. Among his monikers were "The Big Bankroll," "The Brain," and "The Man Uptown."
This vivid account of Rothstein's life is also the story of con artists, crooked cops, politicians, gang lords,
newsmen, speakeasy owners, gamblers and the like. Finally unraveling
the mystery of Rothstein's November 1928 murder in a Times Square hotel room, David Pietrusza has
cemented The Big Bankroll's place among the most influential and fascinating legendary American
"Rothstein paints a fascinating, engrossing portrait of a modern-day Professor Moriarity, set in a Roaring
Twenties universe of crime and corruption, violence and greed. Only Arnold Rothstein dared to fix a
World Series, or his own trial for shooting two policemen. Only David Pietrusza could have so vividly
recreated his life, his death, and his era."
—Dick Thornburgh, former United States Attorney General and Governor of Pennsylvania
"Arnold Rothstein was the Thomas Edison of modern crime, inventing much of it and streamlining the
rest. Investment houses, credit-card issuers, and lottery hawkers have been enriched by his legacy. David
Pietrusza's monumental biography of this evil genius is astonishingly detailed and grippingly narrated;
there's a revelation in every chapter.
Only Rothstein could have spun so tangled a web; only Pietrusza, seventy-five years after his subject's
death, could have set it straight."
—John Thorn, sports historian and editor of Total Baseball
"In the words of Michael Stuhlberg, the actor who played him so superbly in Boardwalk Empire, put it,
playing Arnold Rothstein was 'like putting clothes on a ghost.' David Pietrusza not only puts clothes on
the grandfather of American organized crime but puts flesh on him and blood in his veins as well. One of
the handful of great books on the
history of the Mob."
"David Pietrusza's research opens the wonderous underworld that lurked below the Roaring 20s.
Rothstein is witty, amusing, original, and ultimately very informative."
—Donn Rogosin, author of Invisible Men: Life in Baseball's Negro
"David Pietrusza's Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius who Fixed the 1919
World Series is brilliant—a vivid, superbly researched portrait of the boss who ruled Broadway in its
—Kevin Cook, author of Tommy's Honor and Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything
—Rose Keefe, author of Guns and Roses: The Untold Story of Dean O'Banion and The Man Who Got
Away: The Bugs Moran Story
"It doesn't matter how much you know or have researched the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, you must read
Rothstein. Pietrusza pulls it all together and —or the first time—the pieces of the ongoing mystery saga
fall into place. "
—Susan Dellinger, Ph.D., author of Red Legs and Black Sox
(Emmis Books, 2006)
|It's All Here—
- The amazing, complex story
of how gambling kingpin
Arnold Rothstein conspired
to fix the 1919 World Series
—and kept out of jail when
the whole scheme blew sky
- Arnold Rothstein's
mysterious November 1928
murder. Finally revealed:
Who did it. Why. And why
so many powerful people
found the truth inconvenient.
- How Rothstein's violent
death eventually helped
bring down Tammany Hall,
the nation's biggest political
machine—and helped make
Fiorello LaGuardia mayor
and Franklin Roosevelt
- Millions in stolen bonds.
The accused: dapper
conman Nicky Arnstein. His
wife: Broadway star Fanny
Brice. The shadowy figure
behind the crime: Arnstein's
idol, Arnold Rothstein.
- How on July 4, 1921 Arnold
Rothstein won $850,000 on
a single horse race —and
had it figured how he would
make money even if his
- How Arnold Rothstein and
his henchman Abe Attell
boldly worked to fix the first
Tunney heavyweight title
- Wall Street swindles and
scams in the Roaring
Twenties. The bankroll
behind the crooked
brokerage houses: Arnold
- Arnold Rothstein's brilliant,
flamboyant lawyer: Bill
"The Great Mouthpiece"
Fallon. How Fallon saved
himself from jury-tampering
charges by putting media
czar William Randolph
Hearst and his mistress
actress Marion Davies on
- How Arnold Rothstein and
Captain Alfred Loewenstein,
the world's third-richest
person, worked to create the
modern international drug
- Arnold Rothstein: the father
of organized crime, mentor
to gangland immortals
Meyer Lansky, Lucky
Luciano, Legs Diamond,
|Meet Arnold Rothstein and meet the legends of decades ago—con artists
Nicky Arnstein and Wilson Mizner; legal mastermind Bill "The Great
Mouthpiece" Fallon; crooked cops Big Bill Devery and Charles Becker;
baseball's John "Mugsy" McGraw and the Black Sox; boxers Abe "The
Little Champ" Attell, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, and Benny
Leonard; politicians Jimmy Walker, "Big Tim" Sullivan, and Fiorello
LaGuardia; ganglords Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Legs Diamond,
Lepke Buchalter, and Little Augie Orgen; newsmen Damon Runyon,
Herbert Bayard Swope and William Randolph Hearst; show business's
Fanny Brice, George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Billy Rose, Marion
Davies, and Fats Waller; speakeasy owners Larry Fay and Texas
Guinan; gambler "Nick the Greek" Dandalos.
Rothstein is the epic story of Manhattan in the Roaring Twenties as its
never been told before.
If you've been transfixed by Boardwalk Empire's Arnold Rothstein, now
you can learn . . . the even more amazing rest of the story.
|Rothstein has won the Golden Headphone Award and been rated as One of Booklist's Top Ten, chosen from titles
reviewed in Booklist from June 2003 through May 15, 2004, these outstanding biographies and memoirs are about
individuals, both famous and infamous, who through their stories reveal much about the culture and society of their
respective eras. have a lasting impact.
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