But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters

( 3 )
Paperback (REVISED)
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $3.35   
  • New (10) from $8.37   
  • Used (12) from $3.35   
But He Was Good to His Mother

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$9.99 List Price

Editorial Reviews

The Jewish Agency
"It was Rockaway's mother who originally put the idea into his head of how important the mothers were in the lives of Jewish gangsters who operated during the two world wars. "True," she said when he told her some of his findings of these men, "...but he was always good to his mother." It seemed that audiences were always more interested in personal anecdotes than official FBI files. This book talks a lot of bootlegging, gambling and narcotics smuggling. Despite what they did, their mothers still thought of them tenderly: "Louis's mother nicknamed him 'Lepkele,' an affectionate Yiddish diminutive meaning 'little Louis.'" He used this name with other gangsters, one who asked, "So from then on we all called him Lepke. How can you not like a guy who always thinks about his mother?'" According to Rockaway he was a "devoted family man who rarely drank or gambled, but outside his home he commanded an army of gangsters who extorted millions of dollars from his victims."Rockaway sought to make But He Was Good to His Mother "...lively and entertaining, but factual," depicting the lives and times of Jewish gangsters. He also hoped to capture "an unconventional perspective on their [the gangsters'] lives."It's quite an interesting research for a book - for a professor to undertake to interview Jewish mobsters and their families. This is what makes But He Was Good to His Mother as humorous and unique as it is, making it a worthwhile read to people in all different walks of life. Material for the book came from FBI files, newspapers, books as well as familial influences. You actually feel like you're watching a gangster movie as the tales in this book unfold. "More than twenty shots ricocheted around the room, six of them slamming into Masseria. He slumped; face down, on the table. The killing took less than a minute. Luciano left the restaurant before the police arrived and the police could find no witnesses to the shooting."This book can be used for informal education and fun family reading on the anecdotal side of Jewish gangsters."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789652292490
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 542,209
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 5
Chapter 1 Crime Barons of the East 7
Chapter 2 Rogues of the Midwest 44
Chapter 3 The Purple Gang 63
Chapter 4 In the Beginning 94
Chapter 5 The Perils and Pitfalls of the Gangster Life 113
Chapter 6 The Hit Parade 144
Chapter 7 The Family Came First 182
Chapter 8 Defenders of Their People 219
Epilogue 255
Author's Note and Acknowledgement 256
Source Notes 259
Bibliography 277
Index of Gangsters 284
Index of Photos 288
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    This is an easy and fun read. It is based on anecdotal accounts

    This is an easy and fun read. It is based on anecdotal accounts of notorious Jewish gangsters and is quite entertaining.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2013

    After reading more than fifty books by crime experts, I was thri

    After reading more than fifty books by crime experts, I was thrilled to find this pick. This is in my opinion, one of the best accounts of jewish gangsters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)