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BUMMY DAVIS VS. MURDER, INC. The life of Al “Bummy” Davis was so intricately interwoven with a time, a place and a unique phenomenon, that he became the personification of a slice of history. His is the story of an immigrant Jewish community whose old country fears, values and traditions served as the nurturing grounds of both the Jewish mob world and a boxing world dominated by warriors wearing satin trunks embroidered with the Star of David. Born as Albert Davidoff to observant Jewish parents one week after Prohibition became the law of the land, Al “Bummy” Davis was a guy who drew a lousy hand. Admired and respected – even idolized by those who knew him, he was a pariah to much of the rest of the world. He was a tough kid with a big heart who became fair game for the media hucksters and promotional hustlers who vilified and maligned him in their effort to satisfy the cravings of their Depression-era public that thirsted for heroes. There cannot be heroes without villains to feed off. Coming from the same tradition-bound immigrant ghetto, direct spawns of Prohibition, was a psychopathic band of killers who came to be known as Murder, Inc. Getting their start as teenagers hired as strongarm-men for the then-mob-warlords of Brownsville, Abe “Kid Twist” Reles and his young associates, Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss and Martin “Buggsy” Goldstein, with devious minds and blazing guns fueled by insatiable greed, eventually deposed their bosses. It did not take long for the hardworking Jewish storeowners, peddlers and businessmen to realize that what they had run from in the old country, being terrorized and plundered by hordes of hateful Cossacks had once again caught up with them in their new homeland, turning their dreams to nightmares. Only here it was worse. In the old country they were tormented from those outside their community. Here they found a new breed of young Cossacks who attacked from within the walls of their own homes. Abe Reles and his cohorts feasted upon the friends, neighbors and shopkeepers of their own parents. No one was exempt. Bummy was not looking to be a hero or champion any causes. He was simply a guy who did not want to be pushed around. And when it came to pushing around, that’s what this Jewish mob did best. With an uncontrollable hair-trigger temper as his trade-mark, it seemed inevitable that Bummy Davis and Murder, Inc. were on a collision course. Unable to understand a world that shunned him, he stood up to it eyeball to eyeball, jaw-to-jaw and his inevitable clash with Murder, Inc. results in a breathtaking encounter and an historic result that could never have been predicted.
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Ron Ross is a native New Yorker and was a professional boxer, fight promoter, and manager. Serving on the board of directors of the Veteran Boxers Association of New York and the B'Nai B'rith Sports Lodge of New York, he divides his time between Oceanside, New York, and Boca Raton, Florida with his wife Susan.
Ron Ross. St. Martin's, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 0-312-30638-5Humming with wisecracks and crowded with oddball characters and lovable cranks, this mesmerizing anecdotal history rewrites the maligned legend of Jewish prizefighter Al "Bummy" Davis. Born Albert Abraham Davidoff in 1920, Davis was a plucky young street scrapper who rapidly became one of the most brash and charismatic boxers of his generation. With a devastating left hook and irrepressible chutzpah, Davis won many of his professional fights and nearly all of the hearts in Brownsville, the once infamous Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. Home to Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, two of the Jewish mob's most feared henchmen, Brownsville was where lighthearted kvetching and the shouts of pushcart vendors faded into the muffled screams of the mafia hit. In the hands of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and "Big Al" Anastasia, Murder Inc. turned the business of crime into a vast, well-oiled enterprise. As the younger brother of Willie Davidoff, one of Buchalter's trusted bagmen, Davis never escaped his brother's shadow and the tabloids had a field day painting him as a dirty, low-life thug. To Ross, a former professional boxer and fight promoter, the story of Bummy Davis is inseparable from that of Depression-era Brooklyn, where the mob was still in its infancy and people were in desperate need of a champion. Having scoured the memories of Brownsville natives and boxing associates for scraps of stories, Ross stitches them together with wonderfully imagined scenes and crackling dialogue. Although the book is wreathed in the golden halo of nostalgia, Ross writes with the flair and spellbinding magnetism of a natural storyteller. Photos not seen by PW.
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Book Description Bedell Books. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk0615992870
Book Description Bedell Books, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0615992870