The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein

The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein Arnold Rothstein Was Described In The Newspapers Of The S As A Sportsman, A Gambler, And The Man Who Fixed TheWorld Series But He Was Much Than That A Bootlegger And Labor Racketeer, He Corrupted Politicians, Promoted Crooked Stock Sales, And Imported Narcotics And, Perhaps Most Importantly, He Transformed Organized Crime From A Thuggish Activity Practiced By Hoodlums Into A Big Business, Run Like A Corporation, With Himself At The Top For Twenty Years, The Name Of Arnold Rothstein Symbolized Money Big Time Money, Gambling Money, Racket Money, Illegal Money, Millions Upon Millions Of Dollars His Share Was Ninety Percent Of Any Deal He Was Never Indicted For A Single Crime He Always Won At Cards And Horses And, Despite His Involvement In Dozens Of Murders And Hundreds Of Other Crimes, His Luck Never Ran Out At Least Not Until , The Year In Which He Was Fatally Shot The Perpetrators And Rothstein S Millions Were Never Found The Big Bankroll Is The Definitive Biography Of The Man Known Simply As Mr Big In It, Leo Katcher Reveals Not Only Sordid Details Of The Life Of America S Most Powerful Gambler, But Illuminates The Whole Era In Which Crime Became King

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  • Paperback
  • 369 pages
  • The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein
  • Leo Katcher
  • English
  • 22 December 2019
  • 9780306805653

10 thoughts on “The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein

  1. says:

    This reprint of Katcher s biography of Arnold Rothstein does a great job of creating a book out of not very much And that is because his subject was not a flashy, gun toting, cinematic mobster Rothstein was the archetypal shadowy money man, always in the background, always ready with a loan, always ready to have people owe him He didn t fix the 1919 World Series, but he certainly profited from it He wasn t a violent man, but had no qualms about the use of violence when he wanted to collect Gambling, vice, narcotics nothing was off limits as long as there was a cut for Arnold to cream off Shot and killed in 1928, Rothstein does not get the credit blame he deserves for putting the organisation into Organised Crime.

  2. says:

    Needed to find a biography for the Read Harder Challenge and this one appealed off the back of watching Boardwalk Empire AR was one of the elusive characters who always appeared to be in the background but controlling everything and this book provides great context as to why this was.I really enjoyed the read and understanding the background to the times and the extent of AR s influence and his drive for a bigger bankroll For him, size mattered It is a long read, I suspect as a result of the level of research completed by the author, and certain sections do feel repetitive, but overall I was a fan of the book Provided a comprehensive insight into the man who controlled the .

  3. says:

    Nice Read Very informativeA well written and researched look at the origins of oraganizedcrime in the US.A must read for anyone interested in the man behind so manyof th famous gangsters as they moved from prohibition largessto a syndicated arrangement that endures to his day.

  4. says:

    I hope this fairI really wanted to finish this book I kept trying and I could only get to 46% I never seen so many geographical and spelling errors Normally you will get a few but these were so numerous and distracting that it just wasn t worth the effort.

  5. says:

    Good story but should have been proofread better.

  6. says:

    Not easy to read because of the level of detail But interesting And apparently a true story.

  7. says:

    Like many, I was thrilled with so very much of HBO s BOARDWALK EMPIRE series Sure, the problem took some creative liberties in the detailing of specific events, but it often did that when trying to concoct a cohesive narrative for the audience s interest To be fair, there were so many colorful characters of those bygone days, and I imagine it may ve been difficult in the writers room figuring out which major figure was going to get the lion s share of available screen time but before it ended I suspect many were thrilled with that rare opportunity of re examining history via some modest fictional contrivances.One of the most interesting portrayals I thought EMPIRE did was that of Arnold Rothstein, played in the series by Michael Stuhlbarg As a long time fan of most things involving Prohibition, I was thrilled to finally see the Big Bankroll as he was known brought to life so much of Roaring Twenties crime dramas have put the focus on Al Scarface Capone, but those of us familiar with the subject matter known that there were many equally captivating individuals Finally, some light was shed on Arnold, and this encouraged me to finally pick up THE BIG BANKROLL THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN.Written by Leo Katcher, BANKROLL isn t anything necessarily fresh or new In fact, the book was first published in 1958, putting it thirty years after Rothstein himself was cut down in the prime of his life physically, but perhaps not so much fiscally Katcher opens with a marvelous framing device he essentially puts the reader in the moment of Rothstein s assassination and then segues back in time as it were to deliver the biographical highlights of the man s life By doing so, the writer underscores that things certainly won t end well for the mob s chief financier, and he credits his audience with being able to now follow on the journey through the life that was.Once establishing the particulars of Rothstein s family life that being his family s strict adherence to Jewish faith Katcher then masterly spools through so many events which portray just how far from those humble, structured beginnings Arnold travels It doesn t take long for the young man s interests in amassing a particular fortune sets those cerebral wheels in motion, forcing Rothstein to constantly up the ante on his expectations Did this psychological tendency turn him into one of the Roaring Twenties most prolific gamblers I didn t feel Katcher ever concluded that definitely, though it s clear how one might reach that conclusion As for Arnold He kept pursuing what he thought was what life had intended for him, and he rarely if ever took his eyes off that prize, even though it may ve clouded his reasoning to a degree in the last few years of his life.It s a terrific read, due in large part to Katcher s almost journalistic insistence on defining everything In order to do so, the writer had to use many pages to explore tangentially some of the other people as well as the mechanics of early 20th century gambling and pool halls As a consequence, there are several long passages within BANKROLL that feels as if it s part of someone else s biography Katcher tried very hard to always put context into Rothstein s life, even when doing so meant a healthy sidetrack expanding on key players in the man s burgeoning regime Also, Katcher used an awful lot of ink explaining bucket houses, so much so that I found some of it mildly well boring A helpful edit probably would ve turned in a thinner manuscript, but when the devil resides in details and you re talking about the devil I can understand one writer s insistence on keeping it whole.Still, there are parts of Rothstein s legacy that remain lost to history We know that the mob rifled through all of the man s paperwork upon his demise, and we ll never know with any certainty what was taken away and sheltered from inquiring eyes I think it s safe to conclude that we ll never understand just how large the Big Bankroll s own empire may ve stretched But if you re looking for an excellent summation of events and you re willing to sift through some of the fine points then you re in for as compelling a portrait of one of gangdom s most interesting geniuses.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THE BIG BANKROLL THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN benefits from being originally written much closer to the days wherein the Big Bankroll himself did business on the streets of old New York Katcher s book was published three decades after Rothstein s death in 1928 , allowing the author an opportunity to interview surviving gangsters and ahem businessmen who knew him well Still, I thought the piece dragged a bit in the middle wherein the author dedicates a fair amount of space to the minutiae of operating some of the Roaring Twenties most prolific scams It comes back to life in the end, drawing to a close the portrait of gangland s original super intellect.

  8. says:

    I learned that I really want to go bet on horses And that I ll probably lose.You want to pick up this book because it tells how a young Jewish boy forsook his home and Orthodox family in order to become a small time gambler, and through his business smarts and tight connections with Charlie Murphy and Tammany Hall, he was able to turn pennies into millions And he supposedly fixed the 1919 World Series.

  9. says:

    This is the one to read if you want some info on AR Nick Tosches poopoos it in his King of the Jews , but I poopoo King of the Jews It had very little of AR in it AR was a legend in NYC organized crime and many think it was his influence that gave Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, et al the impetus to really organize the NYC racketeering scene Fascinating book.

  10. says:

    Arnold Rothstein is a fascinating character from a fascinating era This book tells you a lot about how the underworld worked in those days but not so much about Rothstein himself The man remains a mystery, not much is known about him.A well written read that does not really satisfy your curiosity about The Brain but tells you a lot about the world he controlled.

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