Tuesday, January 20, 2009


If you have not done so yet, be sure to visit J*Grit- the Internet Index of Tough Jews. I discovered this site in December, when I was whiling away an evening clicking on Pat Hamou's recommended links. Naturally, the first section I went to was 'Criminals'. There were some well-written articles about the Purple Gang, Dutch Schultz, and Martin 'Buggsy' Goldstein, who was allegedly the model for Edward G. Robinson's gangster persona. The site, however, doesn't restrict itself to remarkable crooks. An 'Athletes' category features boxers Barney Ross and Benny Leonard as well as karate champion Marilyn Fierro. Other categories are 'Adventurers', 'Military & Spies', 'Public Servants', 'Radicals', and 'Resisters'.

After spending hours reading the profiles of Jewish men and women who distinguished themselves in the fields of sports, public service, espionage, and crime, I contacted the site owner and offered to submit a story about Jack Zelig. He accepted, and posted the article here. Last week, he also posted an article that I wrote about Max 'Kid Twist' Zweifach. I must have been bitten by a J*Grit bug, because I intend to submit pieces about Monk Eastman and Dopey Benny Fein as well.

For those of you in the New York area, I will be appearing with Ron Arons, Rich Cohen, and one other author at the Tenement House Museum on March 11. There will be a panel discussion, followed by a reading and a book signing. Hope to see some of you there!!

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