History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedGangs of New York

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gangs of New York
    Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 01:45
Years ago, reading Borges' "A universal history of infamy"
 
 
 
I found the story about the Irish clan of the dead rabbits... the same plot that the movie "Gangs of New York".
 
 
 
 
Since then I have wondered how much truthful is that movie. Did it really exist the "natives" and the "dead rabbits" and that famous conflict? More info please!!
 
I know the movie is based in  the book of the with same name by Herbert Asbury, whose last edition was prologed by Borges! Big smile
 
 
 
Here, part of the description of the book:
The subtitle of Herbert Asbury's "Gangs of New York" is "An Informal History of the New York Underworld." Informal is an understatement. In fact, if you were to read no other history of New York, you would conclude that New York was made up of none other than gangsters - some of whom were actual thugs, some of whom were police and fire officers, and some of whom were the government. All of these groups added to the commission of general mayhem in the forms of fighting, rioting, murder, arson, robbery, and corruption.

This 1928 account of city life begins, "The first of the gangs which terrorized New York at frequent intervals for almost a century were spawned in the dismal tenements that squatted in the miasmal purlieus of the Five Points area of the Bloody Ould Sixth Ward, which comprised, roughly, the territory bounded by Broadway, Canal street, the Bowery and Park Row, formerly Chatham street." As can be expected, the anti-Irish bias of the book continues throughout in lurid prose. There are many references to newspapers of the time period, and few to actual statistics. This is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the book for historians.

 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 09:50
One can expect a book about the gangs of New York to be mostly about the gangs of New York, without too much attention being paid to, say, the spread of public libraries.
 
I've never seen the accuracy of Asbury's accounts disputed anywhere: and the 'anti-Irish' bias simply reflets the fact that in the beginning (say from 1820 to 1870/80) most of the gangs were in fact Irish. Other immigrant communities didn't come along until later in any numbers, and the British/Dutch elite didn't really need to form gangs. (Though of course that doesn't mean they didn't make frequent use of the gangs for various purposes, mainly political.)
 
Asbury's blind spot is most obvious in writing about his own time (1920s) when he says the gangs have finally disappeared. Smile
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
calvo View Drop Down
General
General


Joined: 20-May-2007
Location: Spain
Status: Offline
Points: 848
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 10:07
I remember reading certain reviews about the film, who claim that much of the history was "made up". The draft riots did occur, but the confrontation between Irish and Anglo gangs from the 1840s to 1860s had been over-exaggerated.
I don't know how reliable these claims are, as there are a school of Americans who claim that much of the anti-Irish discrimination was largely a myth made up by the Irish themselves. I don't know whether the Americans who make these claims have a certain "political inclination" or not.
Back to Top
pebbles View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 12-Oct-2008
Status: Offline
Points: 407
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 11:14
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:


I don't know how reliable these claims are, as there are a school of Americans who claim that much of the anti-Irish discrimination was largely a myth made up by the Irish themselves.
 

 
 
There was a time," no Irish allowed " sign posted at store front in parts of New England region.Irish endured some ethnic prejudice for being Catholic & whatnot in the past.
 
More than one Irish-Americans said to me in private casual conversations,their " immigrant " great-grandparents were treated like shit.
 
 
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 11:28
It's not really an ethnic/religious/racial issue. The gangs were mostly made up from the poor immigrant communities - because they were poor not because they were immigrants. So they have a pretty well all times been dominated by the most recent - and therefore still poorest - immigrant groups.
 
And that's a bit of a misstatement, because it wasn't really the poverty that was the cause, but the lack of political muscle that the poverty ensured.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2009 at 12:48
So Irish were the Mexicans of that time? Both catholics, anyways...
In any case, it seems curious that the film maker is Scorsese, Italian, who is more likely Catholic LOL
What called me the attention the most of that movie was the "Italian" way of focusing in the historical events. Very crude and social oriented.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.047 seconds.