THE HATCHETMEN: The Story Of The Tong Wars in San Francisco's Chinatown by Dillon Richard H.
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THE HATCHETMEN: The Story Of The Tong Wars in San Francisco's Chinatown

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By the 1870's and 80's peaceful little settlement called Chinatown in San Francisco, a settlement which had existed on good terms with the rest of the town for years, was in a state of violent unrest. The Chinese, most of whom intended staying in California only long enough to acquire capital, were suddenly the victims of a wave of anti Oriental fear and which spread through the state. At the same time the power of the traditional ""Six Companies"" to control the neighborhood was usurped by a Mafiaesque group of Chinese tongs bent on controlling business and profiting form vice. The police could do nothing to stop the fighting among these tongs, partly because they were under-manned and partly because many officers were paid to look the other way. This highly entertaining book tells us how men like Hop Sing and Suey Sing hired professional Chinese hatchetman to do their murdering in the streets. It tells how individual murders became wholesale slaughter, how opium and slave girl prostitutes were brought into San Francisco in quantity, and how hearings were conducted in which the most fantastic and brazen lying was perpetrated by corrupt city officials. The story ends with the murder of ""top dog"" Little Pets in 1807, the Great Fire which wiped out the bordellos and oplum dens, and the finally successful efforts of a policeman named Manton in 1922 to destroy the last evil vestiges of one of the worst vice centers in America history. A colorful and expertly told true tale.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1962
Publisher: Coward-McCann