The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
By David Pietrusza
(Basic Books, Paperback, 9780786714537, 512pp.)
Publication Date: July 2004
The model for The Great Gatsby's Meyer Wolfsheim and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Arnold Rothstein was much more than a fixer of baseball games. He was everything that made 1920s Manhattan roar. Transporting readers onto Jazz Age Broadway with its thugs, bookies, denizens of the racetracks, showgirls, political movers-and-shakers, and sports stars, here is the biography of the devilishly beloved gangland dandy who reigned supreme when the fast buck ruled and violence stalked the streets of Gotham. David Pietrusza unearths the canny way Rothstein fixed the 1919 World Seriesplaying all sides off one another so that he alone could not loseand unravels the mystery of his November 1928 murder in a Times Square hotel room. A masterful portrait of a Roaring 20s legend filled with fascinating photographs, Pietrusza's award-nominated Rothstein cements the place of "The Big Bankroll" as the godfather of organized crime in America.