Customer Reviews for

Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    A interesting take on a piece of American history.

    This book really opened my eyes to the amount of gangs and gambling in the 1920's. This man really was a criminal genius. He fixed games and had major gambling debt with a lot of people. On occasion he would be making hundreds of thousands of dollars in a night, and the equivalent of that today is just ridiculous. Reading this has shown me that gambling was probably even more popular 90 years ago than it is today. There were so many underground gangs that were out at night in the Chicago streets. If you didn't play your cards right you ended up in jail or dead, Just as the case for Rothstein. It's really hard to describe what a life like that could lead to. For Arnold it was full of lies, cheating, and abandonment. He even put his own family in danger. This book was a lot different than I thought it was going to be, and it was very good. It was very informative, and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys baseball and learning about life in other time periods.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013


    Have a thesaurus handy when you read this book. The author repeatedly uses $50 words, trying to impress the reader with his extended vocabulary, which in my opinion takes away from the contentof the book.
    Lastly, the introduction of so many characters in every chapter leads you to wonder who the book is actually about. Not the best "mobster" reading material, but does give some interesting insight to that era in history and little revealed facts about the 1919 World Series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2004

    The Underworld King of Old Broadway

    Rothstein tells the story of the underside of the glitzy Broadway that reigned from the turn of the century to the end of the 1920s. Arnold Rothstein is best remembered today as the man behind the 1919 World Series fix, but that was just one example of A. R.¿s greatest ability, putting himself in a position where he could not lose. He got into nearly every conceivable area of crime and knew just when to get out, or exactly who to pay off to keep the income coming. He knew what the odds were when a sucker veered from this path, yet ¿The Big Bankroll¿ met his end after losing too much at cards and then refusing to pay his debt. Author David Pietrusza, who did a similarly masterful job with Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, helps the reader return to a world where mobsters, athletes, Tammany Hall politicians, and Broadway actresses rule the city. Everyone else better get out of the way, turn their head, or put out their hand for a bribe. Pietrusza¿s research is exhaustive and brings about new conclusions on Rothstein¿including significant forms of income few ever knew about in his lifetime¿and hands us A. R.¿s killer in a 75-year-old unsolved murder case. The author even provides a preface that introduces the many underworld characters involved in the story, as well as an epilogue that tells the reader what happened to everybody after A. R. got his.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    A pathetic gambler dies at the hand of lady luck

    Rothstein takes 500 pages to explain what you could read for yourself with a simple web search at the historical files in the New York Times (who shot Rothstein and why). You will learn a lot of names, a lot of places, but not much else. Author kicks over a few rocks, then moves onto the next name dropper in the story. The background information is more valuable than the story of Rothstein (for folks interested in New York City and the birth of the underworld.) Rothstein would give the book long odds, maybe 20-1, but Rothstein liked betting on winners with long odds. Give the book 3 stars for effort and scope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

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