TWENTY AGAINST THE UNDERWORLD by Thomas E. Dewey

TWENTY AGAINST THE UNDERWORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Edited (no doubt a considerable labor) by Rodney Campbell, this is for the most part the voluminous memoir dictated by the late Thomas E. Dewey before his death in 1971, dealing with his gangbusting activities as assistant D.A. of New York and later D.A. against the until-then untouchables of the underworld. Interspersed with the remembered record are excerpts from the trials as one by one he toppled Waxey Gordon and his beer empire, Dutch Schultz and his restaurant monopoly, Lepke and his lesser associate Gurrah, and above all, top Mafioso Lucky Luciano who once said ""If I had to be a crumb, I'd rather be dead."" The early parts fill in his simple childhood in Owosso, Michigan -- later he would work his way through law school -- and toward the close there are speeches re enforcement and reform of the criminal law and the Republican Party, which he represented when he ran successfully for the governorship, at which point (before the later presidential defeats) the book closes. Dewey was obviously a hard worker and a rough antagonist who, as they said back home, ""never went home when it rained."" Aside from that, the man scarcely surfaces beyond his achievements and is still behind the mustached mask.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday