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Scott D. Seligman

Tong Wars: The Untold Story of Vice, Money and Murder in New York’s Chinatown

Viking

This story should have been told a long time ago, if only so it could be made into movies (a la Scorsese or Coppola). From the late 19th century up to the Great Depression, America’s urban Chinese communities were plagued not only by government racism, but from within. Tongs (“chambers” in Chinese), originally benevolent aid societies, morphed into rival gangs extorting protection money from vice and insinuating themselves with police and government in an attempt to destroy each other. Seligman (fluent in Mandarin) uses meticulous archival research to put together a compelling narrative of New York’s Four Tong Wars.

– Bruce Collier

 

EDITOR’S PICKS

Stephen King, End of Watch (Audible, Narrated by Will Patton)

 

Ken Bruen and Jason Starr, PIMP (Hard Case Crime)

 

John Gilstrap, Friendly Fire (Pinnacle)

 

Brian Abrams, Die Hard: An Oral History (Amazon)

 

Charles Ardai, The Nice Guys (Hard Case Crime). The movie novelization is back, and since Shane Black’s film is set in the ‘70s, it kind of makes sense. Extremely well-written with more than a few laugh out loud moments that make me sorry I missed the flick during it’s theatrical run. Based on Black and Anthony Bagarozzi’s screenplay.

– Chris Manson
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