By David Snook
I qualify on the grounds of longevity. So when we learned that Myron Sugarman had written a book (lots of people in the industry reckon they’re going to, but few actually do) and that it had been published, then we felt we had to see it.
Titled The Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster, it is the life story of one of the industry’s best-known "characters" who, thankfully, is still with us. Myron is in his late 70s, is mostly retired now and lives in New Jersey. His chronicles date back to 1959, a few years earlier than my own history in the industry, and consist of a series of most entertaining reflections with scenarios from all over the world.
The entire background is gambling machines, for that was his speciality. Myron throws in Meyer Lansky, the infamous gangster, mainly because Lansky was one of those survivors that lasted well into more recent times and Myron knew him. The earlier parts of the book are devoted to gangster history from the turn of the century, through the family gangs prevalent in US society through the 1920s to 1950s, through bootlegging, protection rackets, robbing, murder and mayhem.
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