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The Best Dressed Man In The Room

A Photographic History of the Sartorially Inclined Goniffs, Gamblers, and Gangsters of the Inter-War Years, 1920-1945

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“Look at him. . . He’s the best dressed man in the room. . . When you meet men like Strauss, draw quickly and shoot accurately . . . Don't be afraid to muss 'em up. Make it disagreeable for them. Drive them out of the city. Teach them to fear arrest. Make them fear you. . . . Don't be afraid to manhandle them … Mark 'em up and muss 'em up. Blood should be smeared all over that velvet collar." So spoke New York City Police Commissioner Lewis Valentine to a roomful of detectives on the morning of November 26, 1934, after Harry Strauss arrived at Police Headquarters in his chesterfield overcoat for questioning in connection with yet another unsolved murder. Although an artist with an ice-pick and one of Murder Incorporated’s most prolific triggermen, it was on account of Strauss’ sartorial achievements that the boys called him “The Beau Brummell of Brownsville.” Strauss is just one of the infamous characters to be found in The Best Dressed Man In The Room, a photographic history of the sartorially inclined goniffs, gamblers, and gangsters of the inter-war years. The photographs have been compiled from a variety of sources, including private collections and newspaper archives. The photographic collections, organized by criminal organization, are accompanied by essays based on research drawn from primary and secondary sources, and trial transcripts. With Ralph Lauren recently patterning his 2011 RRL look-book after a collection of 1920s Australian mugshots and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire relying on 1920s tailoring books from FIT’s research libraries to enhance its costume design, the time is right for a closer look at the sophisticated style of the criminal elite of the Roaring Twenties

The Best Dressed Man In The Room
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Oct 01, 2013
  • Publisher: Blurb Inc.
  • Seller: Blurb, Inc.
  • Print Length: 149 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.2 or later and iOS 4.2 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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