Albert Fried's book recalls the rise and fall of an underworld culture that bred some of America's greatest racketeers, bootleggers, gamblers, and professional killers, spawned by a culture of vice and criminality in New York's Lower East Side and similar environments in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Newark, and Philadelphia.;An important dimension is added to this story as the author discusses Italian gangs who teamed up with their Jewish counterparts to form multicultural syndicates.;Fried examines the careers of such high-profile figures as Meyer Lansky, Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, and Dutch Schultz and shows how these gangsters passed from early manhood to old age, marketed illicit goods and services after Prohibition ended, improved their system of mutual cooperation and self-governance, and grew to resemble modern business entrepreneurs.;A new afterword brings to a close the careers of the Jewish gangsters and discusses selected books published since 1980. It also examines the impact of selected films, such as The Godfather films, Once Upon a Time in America, and Bugsy.