First off this is not a fair review. This piece is an extremely well researched non-fiction account of the nineteenth century Chinese gang wars that took place in the Five Points area of the lower east side of Manhattan. The same slums that produced the Irish and Italian mobs also gave birth to Chinatown’s gang lords known as Tongs. The author clearly knows his stuff and the book is filled with gritty facts. The reason why I only give a three star rating is that I was expecting the book to read like fiction which it does not, at least not to me. If you are interested in reading a historical novel on the Five Points try “Paradise Alley” by Kevin Baker or the infamous “Gangs of New York” by Herbert Asbury written back in 1928. If you are a serious Chinese history buff all of Seligman’s works are for you.
Book will be released on July 12, 2016.