About the book
Once upon a time, back in the 20s and 30s, in Brooklyn, there lived a breed of men who exist now only in legend and in the memories of a few old men. Their names were Louis Lepke, Abe Reles, Bugsy Segel, Dutch Shultz, Meyer Lansky, and they were Jewish gangsters: Jews with Guns; tough, fearles Jews who roamed the streets in a time when a Jewish boy could fashion a future that was murderous and daring and wide open. Rich Cohen's father grew up in that world; his family owned the diner where the gangsters known as Murder Incorporated hung out. In TOUGH JEWS he tells their stories and brilliantly evokes their world - a world of street corners and bars and nightclubs; a world where murder was better than cowerdice; where killings were planned and executed with precision and finesse; a world of feuds, wars, schemes, where living into middle age was akind of victory; a world in which for a brief moment, Jews were among the most important criminals in America.