Impoverished Brownsville in Brooklyn, New York, served as the breeding ground for some of the toughest and most violent criminals in urban American history. Following the lives of Abraham "Kid Twist" Reles, Albert "Allie Tick Tock" Tannenbaum, and countless others, this graphic novel presents the events leading up to the formation of the vicious Murder Inc. But escaping the tenements and finding a new family comes with a difficult life, one where the slightest shift in alliances can turn bitter enemies into uneasy partners and men as close as brothers into rivals. The history of Jewish gangsters is often overshadowed by images of The Godfather and stories of the Italian mafia, but the events and players come to life in the stark images in this historical overview. Segments, organized as a series of vignettes linked by narrative commentary, follow the gang from inception to the final trial and execution of key members. Following in the tradition of Art Spiegelman's Maus (Pantheon, 1986), this graphic novel attempts not only to present the events of the turbulent 1920s and 1930s, but also attempts to offer a way of looking at the violence as part of the overall shaping of inner-city life. Although the Holocaust is known well enough to be painted in the broad strokes that a graphic novel allows, the history of the Jewish Mafia unfortunately is not. The abundance of names and the unfamiliarity of events make additional research necessary. The addition of a bibliography and a list of sources for further research partly address this issue. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S A/YA G (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12;Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults; Graphic Novel Format). 2006, NBM, 208p.; Biblio. Source Notes., Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult.