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Short Synopsis
A mesmerizing true story of money, murder, gambling, prostitution, and opium: the Chinese gang wars that engulfed New York's Chinatown from the 1890s through the 1930s.

Full Synopsis
Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas, and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets to automatic weapons and even bombs. Welcome to New York City's Chinatown in 1925.

The Chinese in turn-of-the-last-century New York were mostly immigrant peasants and shopkeepers who worked as laundrymen, cigar makers, and domestics. They gravitated to lower Manhattan and lived as Chinese an existence as possible, their few diversions—gambling, opium, and prostitution—available but, sadly, illegal. It didn't take long before one resourceful merchant saw a golden opportunity to feather his nest by positioning himself squarely between the vice dens and the police charged with shutting them down.

A mesmerizing true story, Scott D. Seligman's Tong Wars roars through three decades of turmoil, with characters ranging from gangsters and drug lords to reformers and do-gooders to judges, prosecutors, cops, and politicians of every stripe and color.

"This is the best kind of true crime book: a solid social history as well as a gripping narrative of murder and revenge." ---Publishers Weekly

"In this entertaining book, Seligman ably demystifies the stereotypes in an age rife with discrimination and unchecked police abuse." ---Kirkus

"The depth of this research is remarkable—the product of uncovering and analyzing accounts in old newspapers, census and court records, and material in the National Archives—and his results are delivered compellingly." ---Booklist

"Expertly narrated by David Shih, Tong Wars is a consistently compelling and informative account." ---Midwest Book Review

"This thoroughly researched and fascinating work is highly recommended for those interested in organized crime or the early history of New York's Chinatown." ---Library Journal Starred Review
Library Journal Review

Tong Wars

The Untold Story of Vice, Money, and Murder in New York's Chinatown

Author Scott D. Seligman

Narrated by David Shih

Publication date Jul 29, 2016

Running time 11 hrs 3 min

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