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Tong Wars by Scott D. Seligman
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Tong Wars

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Tong Wars by Scott D. Seligman
Jul 12, 2016 | ISBN 9780399562297

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  • Jul 12, 2016 | ISBN 9780399562297

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A “wild ramble around Chinatown in its darkest days.” —The New Yorker

One secretive chapter in New York’s criminal evolution…vivid.”–The New York Times

“A mesmerizing and brutal look at the hidden world of Chinese tongs.” –Vice

“Fascinating.” The Paris Review
“Ably demystifies the stereotypes in an age rife with discrimination and unchecked police abuse.” –Kirkus Reviews

“The best kind of true crime book: a solid social history as well as a gripping narrative of murder and revenge.” –Publishers Weekly

Advance praise for TONG WARS

“With Tong Wars, Seligman pulls back the veil on thirty years of hidden history, revealing an amazing cast of gangsters, crooked businessmen and corrupt lawmen that gave rise to one of the most extraordinary eras in the underworld history of the United States. This is not only a Chinese story; it is an American story. The research is impeccable and the storytelling light on its feet. Seligman pierces the nexus of political, cultural and economic forces that are at the heart of organized crime, making this essential reading for crime buffs, historians and lovers of larger-than-life sagas about the American experience. You may think you know the full story of organized crime in America, but until you read this book – you don’t.”
 –T.J. English, New York Times best-selling author of  Where the Bodies Were Buried and Havana Nocturne
“A great book! Scott Seligman is a riveting storyteller and he brings New York’s Chinatown gang wars of the early twentieth century back to life with nuance and strikingly vivid detail.” 
–Tyler Anbinder,  Author of Five Points: The 19th Century New York City Neighborhood that Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum

“New York’s early Chinatown has been portrayed unfairly as an exaggerated Yellow Peril den of mysterious Orientals. By diligently and expertly trawling the evidence, however, Scott Seligman has unshrouded the mystery and offered up the gripping story of the men of Chinatown’s underworld and their intramural battles over gambling, opium and other vices. In Tong Wars, he has rescued a tough and hardscrabble immigrant community from obscurity and offered a compelling new chapter in New York’s great story.”
–Paul French,  author of the New York Times bestselling Midnight in Peking

“Tong Wars pulls no punches. Seligman brings the skills of a scholar and a detective to a   story that plays out like a good police procedural novel. This is lively material, and Seligman deftly avoids the trap of simply cataloging the crimes of nameless, faceless denizens herded into an Asian American ghetto. His linguistic fluency and obvious comfort with primary Chinese language sources allow him to assess the myths and the brutal realities of the tong wars, and he has brought a daring and fresh approach to an important American story.”
—Sue Lee, executive director, Chinese Historical Society of America

“Seligman masterfully examines the undercurrents of 1925 New York Chinatown in an engrossing depiction of a complex time. By shining a light on the power of association, the struggle for power, and the desire to survive, Seligman gives ‘face’ to the challenges of community-infighting, community-building, and community-identity in a racist and exclusionary America.”
–Nancy Yao Maasbach , President, Museum of Chinese in America

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