Cover image for Bugsy Siegel and the postwar boom
Bugsy Siegel and the postwar boom
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Woodbridge, Conn. : Blackbirch Press, c2000.
Physical Description:
112 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Notorious Americans and their times
A biography of the infamous gangster and murderer who was responsible for the building of the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 5-8 8.2 2 Quiz 40823 English non-fiction.


Material Type
Shelf Number
Book 92 SIE 1

On Order



The infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel started his career when he was just a boy in New York. Then he moved to California to exploit the rise of gambling and smuggling on the West Coast. But it wasn't until he helped create Las Vegas casinos in the 1940s that he really made his mark. Learn how he turned his dream into reality.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-The saga of this notorious criminal is told against a backdrop of U.S. history from the turn of the century through the 1940s. Otfinoski's account is readable and interesting, and is illustrated with well-chosen, black-and-white photographs. However, in this abbreviated biography, many of Siegel's violent acts are prettified or ignored. Also, there are some errors and inconsistencies. At least half the book consists of information on topics such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the Stock Market Crash, and the Cold War. Some have a clear connection to Siegel's life. Others, such as the California internment camps, do not, and their inclusion disrupts and distracts from the book's narrative flow.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

These biographies of two legendary outlaws take pains to emphasize their subjects' cultural significance yet dubious (in Siegel's case, utter lack of) morality. Sidebars devoted to hallmarks of the respective eras (e.g., dime novels and film noir) and black-and-white photos of their peers and surroundings provide context for their stories. The authors' interest in their subjects is apparent in the energetic prose. Bib., glos., ind. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-10. It might seem that a book about mobster Siegel and the seedy underworld in which he lived would be little more than a glorification of bad behavior. But thanks to Otfinoski's formidable talents, that's not the case. What emerges here is the destructive folly of overblown ego, bad judgment, and alliances with characters whose loyalty stretches only as far as the bottom dollar. Even better, Siegel's story is embedded in a larger historical context of the depression, World War II, and the postwar flight to suburbia. In sweeping but crystal-clear descriptions, Otfinoski provides a brief, solid view of mid-twentieth-century history that makes plain the mobsters' wayward thinking and activities. Shared in straightforward prose, the revelations of the destructive aftermath of each gangster's tenuous glory vividly verify that, in this arena, people reap exactly what they sow. --Roger Leslie

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Growing Up in the Gangs: The Early Yearsp. 5
Chapter 2 The Twenties Roar: Moving Uptownp. 22
Chapter 3 The Hollywood Dream Factory: Bugsy Goes Westp. 37
Chapter 4 America Goes to War: Bugsy in Lovep. 55
Chapter 5 Postwar Boom: A Flamingo in the Desertp. 70
Chapter 6 Shadows over Shangri-La: A Gangster's Endp. 84
Chronologyp. 102
Glossaryp. 104
Source Notesp. 105
Further Readingp. 108
Web Sitesp. 109
Indexp. 110
Photo Creditsp. 112