TONG WARS THE UNTOLD STORY OF VICE MONEY AND MURDER IN NEW YORKS CHINATOWN

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Tong Wars

Author : Scott D. Seligman
ISBN : 9780399562297
Genre : History
File Size : 86.46 MB
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A mesmerizing true story of money, murder, gambling, prostitution, and opium in a "wild ramble around Chinatown in its darkest days." (The New Yorker) Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not house-to-house searches or throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets and meat cleavers to pistols, automatic weapons, and even bombs. Welcome to New York City’s Chinatown in 1925. The Chinese in turn-of-the-last-century New York were mostly immigrant peasants and shopkeepers who worked as laundrymen, cigar makers, and domestics. They gravitated to lower Manhattan and lived as Chinese an existence as possible, their few diversions—gambling, opium, and prostitution—available but, sadly, illegal. It didn’t take long before one resourceful merchant saw a golden opportunity to feather his nest by positioning himself squarely between the vice dens and the police charged with shutting them down. Tong Wars is historical true crime set against the perfect landscape: Tammany-era New York City. Representatives of rival tongs (secret societies) corner the various markets of sin using admirably creative strategies. The city government was already corrupt from top to bottom, so once one tong began taxing the gambling dens and paying off the authorities, a rival, jealously eyeing its lucrative franchise, co-opted a local reformist group to help eliminate it. Pretty soon Chinese were slaughtering one another in the streets, inaugurating a succession of wars that raged for the next thirty years. Scott D. Seligman’s account roars through three decades of turmoil, with characters ranging from gangsters and drug lords to reformers and do-gooders to judges, prosecutors, cops, and pols of every stripe and color. A true story set in Prohibition-era Manhattan a generation after Gangs of New York, but fought on the very same turf. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: History

Tong Wars

Author : Scott D. Seligman
ISBN : 9780399562273
Genre : HISTORY
File Size : 40.14 MB
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A "true story of money, murder, gambling, prostitution, and opium: the Chinese gang wars that engulfed New York's Chinatown from the 1890s through the 1930s"--Amazon.com.
Category: HISTORY

Chinatown Gangs

Author : Ko-lin Chin
ISBN : 9780195136272
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.33 MB
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In Chinatown Gangs, Ko-lin Chin penetrates a closed society and presents a rare portrait of the underworld of New York City's Chinatown. Based on first-hand accounts from gang members, gang victims, community leaders, and law enforcement authorities, this pioneering study reveals the pervasiveness, the muscle, the longevity, and the institutionalization of Chinatown gangs. Chin reveals the fear gangs instill in the Chinese community. At the same time, he shows how the economic viability of the community is sapped, and how gangs encourage lawlessness, making a mockery of law enforcement agencies. Ko-lin Chin makes clear that gang crime is inexorably linked to Chinatown's political economy and social history. He shows how gangs are formed to become "equalizers" within a social environment where individual and group conflicts, whether social, political, or economic, are unlikely to be solved in American courts. Moreover, Chin argues that Chinatown's informal economy provides yet another opportunity for street gangs to become "providers" or "protectors" of illegal services. These gangs, therefore, are the pathological manifestation of a closed community, one whose problems are not easily seen--and less easily understood--by outsiders. Chin's concrete data on gang characteristics, activities, methods of operation and violence make him uniquely qualified to propose ways to restrain gang violence, and Chinatown Gangs closes with his specific policy suggestions. It is the definitive study of gangs in an American Chinatown.
Category: Social Science

Tea That Burns

Author : Bruce Hall
ISBN : 9780743236591
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 34.95 MB
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A fourth-generation Chinese American man revisits his heritage, much of which is tied to New York's Chinatown, a place where his grandfather was a beloved bookie.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Third Degree

Author : Scott D. Seligman
ISBN : 9781640120600
Genre : History
File Size : 87.77 MB
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If you've ever seen an episode of Law and Order, you can probably recite your Miranda rights by heart. But you likely don't know that these rights had their roots in the case of a young Chinese man accused of murdering three diplomats in Washington DC in 1919. A frantic search for clues and dogged interrogations by gumshoes erupted in sensational news and editorial coverage and intensified international pressure on the police to crack the case. Part murder mystery, part courtroom drama, and part landmark legal case, The Third Degree is the true story of a young man's abuse by the Washington police and an arduous, seven-year journey through the legal system that drew in Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John W. Davis, and J. Edgar Hoover. The ordeal culminated in a sweeping Supreme Court ruling penned by Justice Louis Brandeis that set the stage for the Miranda warning many years later. Scott D. Seligman argues that the importance of the case hinges not on the defendant's guilt or innocence but on the imperative that a system that presumes one is innocent until proven guilty provides protections against coerced confessions. Today, when the treatment of suspects between arrest and trial remains controversial, when bias against immigrants and minorities in law enforcement continues to deny them their rights, and when protecting individuals from compulsory self-incrimination is still an uphill battle, this century-old legal spellbinder is a cautionary tale that reminds us how we got where we are today and makes us wonder how far we have yet to go.
Category: History

White Devil

Author : Bob Halloran
ISBN : 9781940363899
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 43.20 MB
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The amazing true story of the only white man to rise to the top of the Chinese mafia. In August 2013, “Bac Guai” John Willis, also known as the “White Devil” because of his notorious ferocity, was sentenced to 20 years for drug trafficking and money laundering. Willis, according to prosecutors, was “the kingpin, organizer and leader of a vast conspiracy,” all within the legendarily insular and vicious Chinese mafia. It started when John Willis was 16 years old . . . his life seemed hopeless. His father had abandoned his family years earlier, his older brother had just died of a heart attack, and his mother was dying. John was alone, sleeping on the floor of his deceased brother’s home. Desperate, John reached out to Woping, a young Chinese man Willis had rescued from a bar fight weeks before. Woping literally picks him up off the street, taking him home to live among his own brothers and sisters. Soon, Willis is accompanying Woping to meet his Chinese mobster friends, and starts working for them. Journalist Bob Halloran tells the tale of John Willis, aka White Devil, the only white man to ever rise through the ranks in the Chinese mafia. Willis began as an enforcer, riding around with other gang members to “encourage” people to pay their debts. He soon graduated to even more dangerous work as a full-fledged gang member, barely escaping with his life on several occasions. As a white man navigating an otherwise exclusively Asian world, Willis was at first an interesting anomaly, but his ruthless devotion to his adopted culture eventually led to him emerging as a leader. He organized his own gang of co-conspirators and began an extremely lucrative criminal venture selling tens of thousands of oxycodone pills. A year-long FBI investigation brought him down, and John pleaded guilty to save the love of his life from prosecution. He has no regrets. White Devil explores the workings of the Chinese mafia, and he speaks frankly about his relationships with other gang members, the crimes he committed, and why he’ll never rat out any of his brothers to the cops. Told to Halloran from Willis’s prison cell, White Devil is a shocking portrait of a man who was allowed access into a secret world, and who is paying the price for his hardened life.
Category: True Crime

Longtime Californ

Author : Victor Nee
ISBN : 9780804153911
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.69 MB
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Beginning with the immigrants who left poverty-ridden villages in China to try for a better livelihood in America, the narratives and extensive interviews of Longtime Californ’ tell the true story of the Chinese in America. A young Chinese girl tells of being sold into slavery, brought to America, and rescued by a missionary; men of Chinatown recall the awful conditions and long waits on Angel Island before being allowed into the country, and remember the backbreaking experience of building the railroads that opened the West. The young Chinese are also here: some are angry and frustrated, spending their time on street corners and in gang fights; other are Marxist radicals trying to create social, political, and economic change in Chinatown ghetto. And there are the workers who go back and forth each day to the garment factories and the shops, each with his or her own story to tell, each contributing his or her share to the country that is San Francisco Chinatown. Throughout these and other stories the intricate patterns of Chinese life emerge as Chinese traditions and American customs combine to create the unique experience of Chinese-Americas, Longtime Californ’ goes beyond the hand laundries and restaurants with which Americans often associate the Chinese and unveils the secret societies, the powerful family associations, and the daily lives of the people of Chinatown.
Category: Social Science

Manhattan S Chinatown

Author : Daniel Ostrow
ISBN : 0738555177
Genre : History
File Size : 80.43 MB
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Manhattan's Chinatown is an enclave located in the oldest section of New York City, Manhattan's Lower East Side. For most who reside there, Chinatown serves as the quintessential microcosm. It is a place to do business, buy groceries, and raise families. For many Chinese immigrants, it provides a stepping stone to a perceived better life that may only be achieved through hard work, determination, sacrifice, and assimilation. Chinatown's main sources of income and employment lie in its many restaurants, factories, small shops, and businesses. However, for generations of New Yorkers and visitors, Chinatown represents the very embodiment of exotica. With its ancient tenements, temples, fragrant food aromas, neon signs, colorful sites and sounds, and aromatic curio shops, it provides the ultimate journey of the senses, revealing an energetic and vibrant world. Through vintage postcards, Manhattan's Chinatown chronicles how this community has continually evolved over 150 years.
Category: History

A Guide To Gangsters Murderers And Weirdos Of New York City S Lower East Side

Author : Eric Ferrara
ISBN : 9781614233039
Genre : Photography
File Size : 51.44 MB
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New York's Lower East Side is the birthplace of everything from organized crime to anarchist movements. In the nineteenth century, an influx of struggling immigrants seeking opportunity met the harsh realities of industrialization. Poverty and squalor fueled a vicious battle for power and political clout. Local historian Eric Ferrara reveals the wicked history of America's most infamous neighborhood, where the abounding graffiti is a testament to the soul and spirit of the slum.
Category: Photography

The First Chinese American

Author : Scott D. Seligman
ISBN : 9789888139897
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 67.76 MB
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Chinese in America endured abuse and discrimination in the late nineteenth century, but they had a leader and a fighter in Wong Chin Foo (1847–1898), whose story is a forgotten chapter in the struggle for equal rights in America. The first to use the term “Chinese American,” Wong defended his compatriots against malicious scapegoating and urged them to become Americanized to win their rights. A trailblazer and a born showman who proclaimed himself China’s first Confucian missionary to the United States, he founded America’s first association of Chinese voters and testified before Congress to get laws that denied them citizenship repealed. Wong challenged Americans to live up to the principles they freely espoused but failed to apply to the Chinese in their midst. This evocative biography is the first book-length account of the life and times of one of America’s most famous Chinese—and one of its earliest campaigners for racial equality.
Category: Biography & Autobiography