Jack “Legs” Diamond, one of the most famous gangsters of them all and probably one of my favorite Prohibition Era gangsters. This book was recommended to me by many people so I went ahead and bought it based on those recommendations and one of those people actually appeared in the book and had a relative who was also mentioned in the book. It was a good recommendation!
I found this book to be well written and very well researched, the research that went into this book was impressive I must say. Everything was cited and referenced which only added to it.
“Legs” Diamond was a gangster that lived in New York and was involved with some of the top gangster of the day such as Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz & Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll. And it was very surprising that each gets mentioned in the book, though not in a huge way but enough to make you want to follow up on their stories. Probably the best cameo for me was Lucky Luciano, which led to me finding one of my favourite photos in mob history, the police mugshot line up that included Eddie Diamond, Legs Diamond, Fatty Walsh & Lucky Luciano.
The book does a great job of telling the Legs Diamond story as accurately as it can, it tells the rise and fall of Diamond. It leaves no impression of his duplicitous nature and how easily he would double cross his business partners with ease. It does a good job of disproving some of the myths about him too and surprisingly a myth or two about Luciano.
Legs lived a short but action packed life, having been shot a number of times as well as being arrested and imprisoned a few times too.
I really did like this book but I didnt want it to end, it was a very enjoyable story about a very likeable gangster. Though Legs himself would try and claim he wasnt a gangster, just the victim of a smear campaign by the police and media who he hated, yet read everything they wrote about him and kept some of the newspaper clippings.