Take a journey to what Bob Dylan called the "old, weird America." Before 50s suburbia mentally sanitized the landscape, America was full of wooden shanties built over the water, grandmothers that ran safe-cracking gangs, street urchins, voter fraud, and assorted eccentric characters.
Herbert Asbury wrote nonfiction books on French Quarter, Chicago, and two on New York. Asbury roughly centered on the 19th century to the early 20th century. One was the basis for the film Gangs of New York. Using newspaper clippings and stories that were now safe to be told, Asbury is a fascinating read of Gilded Age America and things that are too offbeat to be official history.