Milo Books

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American Gangster

The Bloody Story of the Gangs of Harlem

Frank Lucas was “Super Fly”, the number one drug lord on the mean streets of Harlem. His gang smuggled heroin from Vietnam to the US in American warplanes and were rumoured to hide drugs in the bodybags of dead GIs. His exploits have been immortalised in a Hollywood blockbuster starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Lucas is just one of a cast of extraordinary larger-than-life characters in American Gangster, the saga of the biggest players in New York City’s most notorious neighbourhood from Mafia dons to the cocaine gangs of today. Once a fashionable area, a property collapse emptied Harlem’s streets of wealthy white residents and by the 1930s gambling and drugs had boosted the growth of gangsterism. White bootleggers like Dutch Schultz and Owney Madden, who held sway during the era of the Cotton Club, eventually gave way to black godfathers like Bumpy Johnson and Nicky ‘Mr Untouchable’ Barnes.

By the time of Frank Lucas, the heroin trade was devastating swathes of this once-vibrant area. Worse was to follow. The 1980s brought the crack epidemic and violent posses such as the Nine Trey Gangstas, the No Fear Gang and the lethal Preacher Crew. From corrupt cops to bent politicians, alliances to turf wars, American Gangster is a gripping chronicle of modern organised crime.

Praise for Ron Chepesiuk:

‘Ron Chepesiuk is a master of high octane journalism.’
Bert Ruiz, author of ‘The Colombian Civil War’

‘Ron Chepesiuk makes his non-fiction read like fiction – proving once again that the secret to good writing is good storytelling.’
Dan E. Moldea, author of ‘The Killing of Robert R. Kennedy’

About the author:

Ron Chepesiuk is a Fulbright Scholar and the author of 19 books including Drug Lords: The Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel and Black Gangs of Chicago (Barricade Books, 2007).

His newspaper and magazine articles have appeared in USA Today, New York Times syndicate, National Review, New York Daily News and close to 400 other publications around the world.

Ron is a member of the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime, the International Narcotics Law Officers Association and Investigative Editors and Reporters.

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Only available in paperback.

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