Garden State Gangland: The Rise of the Mob in New Jersey


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.6 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author

Scott M. Deitche is the author of 7 books on organized crime, including Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld, The Silent Don: The World of Santo Trafficante Jr. and Cocktail Noir: From Gangsters and Gin Joints to Gumshoes and Gimlets. He has also written dozens of articles on organized crime for local and national magazines and newspapers. Scott has been featured on The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, A&E, C-SPAN, Oxygen and both national and local news and radio shows. Scott lives in St. Petersburg, FL. with his family.


This is an excellent overview of the rise and fall of organized crime in New Jersey. Deitche is one of the few hobbyists who has crossed the literary border into general acceptance as an expert in the field of organized crime. Many authors write about New Jersey gangsters, but this is the first book that offers a holistic view over the different eras, factions, and locations. The organization is loosely arranged by geography, starting in Newark and going south to Atlantic City. . . Deitche does compile an impressive selection of primary sources, including FBI documents, interviews, memoirs, and court proceedings. His target audience is the general public rather than academics. Summing Up: Recommended. All regional public and academic libraries.--CHOICE
Pop-culture aficionados might think that there has never been a New Jersey without the Mob. As Dietche (Everything Mafia Book, 2009) explains, organized crime didn't appear in the Garden State until the very early 1900s, when the barely organized Black Hand extorted vulnerable Italian immigrant families. From there, he describes a complicated, colorful history. Newark gave birth to Jewish mobsters like Longy Zwillman and Doc Stacher and Italian Mafia like Richie 'the Boot' Boiardo, while the corrupt 'Nucky' Johnson (famously played by Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire) turned a blind eye to the speedboats unloading illegal liquor during Prohibition in Atlantic City. Dietche explains the Robin Hood-esque code of ethics that pervaded gang culture and the dependence on municipal government that made New Jersey particularly ripe for corruption. Mostly, though, he painstakingly details the movements of the major players throughout twentieth-century organized-crime history, peppered with entertaining and sometimes-disturbing pieces of transcripts of Senate hearings, wiretaps, interviews, and photographs. From the early days to the second heyday, in the 1970s, the Mob wars of the 1990s, and the current tenuous hold on crime in New Jersey, this comprehensive history is for those who are ready to dig in beyond the pop-culture mobster.--Booklist
Deitche's analysis of New Jersey's proclivity to organized crime and corruption is, to this reviewer, refreshing. . . . He certainly demonstrates that underneath what may seem to be a veneer of respectability and sound governance lie a number of threats to this misleading facade. The history that Deitche has stitched together, unfortunately, represented and represents merely the "tip of an iceberg." I would hope that Deitche's historical accounting would be mandatory reading in every police academy, every institution of higher education, and for all those who want to enter public service, not only in New Jersey, but everywhere.--Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
From the Boot to Bruno, Lucky to Longy, all the tales of illicit liquor and dead bodies in the bay, an encompassing and relevant read on Jersey's enigmatic role in gangland's past through present. Dredging the Passaic for dead gangsters and pouring over revelations within wiretapped mob talk, Deitche delivers the goods on Jersey's inexplicable role in underworld history. Finally an inclusive account of Jersey's enigmatic and enduring underworld history, rife with the origins, the outlaws, and the contemporary relevancy the mob's presence.--Christian Cippolini, author of Murder Inc.: Mysteries of the Mob's Most Deadly Hit Squad and organized crime historian
Scott Deitche's meticulous and concise research, examines, for the first time, the complete, true account of organized crime in New Jersey. Delicately dissecting over a century of New Jersey's vast Mafia history, Garden State Gangland is a powerful research tool and a necessary addition to any crime library.--Avi Bash, author of Organized Crime in Miami
Scott Deitche's done it again!! Garden State Gangland is a compelling and thorough examination of historical mob activity in New Jersey unlike anything to ever hit the marketplace. Like Dietche did in the past with his exploring of the richly-texured Florida underworld landscape in prior publishing efforts, in Garden State Gangland he crafts a fast-paced, fact-filled and utterly-fascinating narrative that reads easy and packs a punch with its well-researched anecdotes and exploration of the insider mob politics at play in a region with so many different crime families looking to get a piece of the proverbial pie. For true-crime lovers, mob buffs and Sopranos television show fans looking to get a glimpse into the real world of the New Jersey mafia, this is a must have for your personal library.--Scott M. Burnstein, author, journalist and historian
As he did with the City of Tampa in his Cigar City Mafia, Scott Deitche has given us with Garden State Gangland another encyclopedic crime book of historical value. From obscure gangsters like Gaspare D'Amico and Vincent Troia to the better known Albert Anastasia, Willie Morretti and more, Deitche shows the important characters, places, and events in the 'Soprano' state's special history of organized crime. It is all here in this long needed book: from the early 20th Century, through Prohibition and right up to developments in more modern times.--Anthony M. DeStefano, author of Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History, The Big Heist and other true crime books
Scott Deitche continues to prove himself as one of the best true crime authors out there. The history of organized crime in New Jersey is a complicated one and Scott weaves together that history like a beautiful tapestry. You don't want to miss this one, folks!--David M. Uslan, producer and mafia historian
Scott M. Deitche, the author of eight books on organized crime, chronicles the state's underworld from 1909 to the present day in Garden State Gangland: The Rise of the Mob in New Jersey (Rowman & Littlefield). Two hit television shows, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, have cemented the state's reputation as a hotbed of organized crime, with homegrown Irish, Jewish, and Italian gangs joined by mobsters forced out of New York City. Garden State Gangland introduces a cast of real-life Jersey mobsters, from the suddenly famous Atlantic City powerbroker Enoch "Nucky" Johnson--the model for Boardwalk Empire's menacing Nucky Thompson--to the lesser-known Abraham "Longy" Zwillman, who built a Newark-based fiefdom so vast he was often described as an East Coast version of Capone. The supporting cast includes gangsters with nicknames as colorful as Nucky's--Puddy Hinkes, Ritchie the Boot, and Sam the Plumber. There's even a mobster with the same name as Sherlock Holmes's nemesis: Joseph "Newsboy" Moriarty ran a gambling operation in Jersey City. Deitche, who has his own Jersey underworld connection--his grandfather did time in the 1970s for taking illegal sports bets in Perth Amboy--draws on newspaper coverage, FBI files, and wiretap evidence to identify the players and the corrupt politicians and police officers who allowed them to flourish. Despite a 2016 roundup of wise guys from several crime families, organized crime remains embedded in the state's DNA. "Tony Soprano may have gone off the air," notes a law enforcement official quoted in the book, "but the mob never did."--Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine