Cover image for Button man
Title:
Button man

Button men
Title:
Button man
Edition:
Large print edition.
Publisher Info:
Thorndike, Maine : Center Point Large Print, 2019.
Physical Description:
486 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"A novel"--front cover.

Includes bibliographical references.
Abstract:
1930s, New York's Lower East Side. At the death of their father, Morris Rabishevsky, twelve, apprenticed himself to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to accounting school; but Harry fell in with a gang of thugs. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory, goes out on his own, and convinces Sol to come work with him. But Harry can't be lured away from the power and the money that come from his association with Louis Buchalter, the most ruthless mobster in New York. When Buchalter sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers' factories, he pits brother against brother.-- adapted from jacket.

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabishevsky grew up poor and rough in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris, the youngest, dropped out of school at twelve years old and apprenticed himself to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to accounting school; but Harry, scarred by a family tragedy, fell in with a gang of thugs as a teenager.


Author Notes

Andrew Gross was born in 1952 in New York City. He grew up in Manhattan and attended the Barnard School for Boys. Both his father and grandfather were successful clothing manufacturers; they ran the Leslie Fay Companies. Gross received a degree in English from Middlebury College in 1974. In 1982, he received a Masters in Business from Columbia University. He attended the Writers Program at the University of Iowa.

The draft of his first book Hydra, a political thriller, was completed in 1998. After dozens of rejections from agents and ultimately publishers he received a phone call from James Patterson. Gross met with Patterson and discussed the early concepts for what ultimately became the Women's Murder Club series. Gross worked with Patterson on several books in this series, including Second Chance and Third Degree, both of which were bestsellers. Then, they branched out on different themes together, co-authoring the bestsellers, The Jester, Lifeguard, and Judge and Jury.

In pursuing his solo career, Gross wrote such works as The Blue Zone, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list in the United States. A year later, It was followed up by The Dark Tide ( 2007), which was nominated for Thriller of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association. The Dark Tide featured the Gross fictional detective Ty Hauck of Greenwich, Connecticut, who became the lead character in his corruption and political conspiracy-based bestsellers Don't Look Twice and Reckless. His titles 12 Seconds and Everything to Lose also made the New York Times bestseller list. The One Man was published in August 2016. His latest bestseller is The Saboteur.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Gross' historical suspense novel delivers a gut-wrenching, noirish portrait of Jewish organized crime and labor unionism in 1930s New York. By personalizing key characters, the author immerses readers in a maze of labor racketeering and political and police corruption, upping the nail-biting suspense chapter by chapter. The narrative follows Morris and Sol, two Rabishevsky brothers striving to stay afloat in their garment business while fighting the pressure of union takeovers and price controlling by criminals and criminal organizations (Dutch Schultz and Murder, Inc.). Meanwhile, Harry, the other Rabishevsky brother, wastes his days consorting with button men (hired killers), hoping to find acceptance among them. These are characters you won't forget, as they exist in a complex nightmare brought on by the Depression, immigration, poverty, and greed. The surprise is that any good men rise to fight. Alternately frightful and fascinating, the story viscerally describes the era, exposing the motives and fears that drive each character and play out on the streets. Neil Kleid's graphic novel Brownsville (2006) also vividly portrays many of the same criminals, along with District Attorney Thomas Dewey, who fought them in court. Readers might also like the fast-paced Quinn mystery series by Michael Mayo for another perspective on the same period.--Jen Baker Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Growing up poor on New York's Lower East Side, Morris Rabishevsky (later shortened to Raab) and his two brothers fend for themselves after their father's death. Morris drops out of school at 12 and goes to work in the garment industry, while Sol heads to accounting school. By the time Morris is in his 20s, he has his own company, where Sol also works. It's the 1930s and mobsters are taking over the unions and enforcing their will. Morris's childhood acquaintances now work for gangsters and his ne'er-do-well younger brother Harry associates with the likes of Dutch Schultz and Albert -Anastasia. By resisting the mob, Morris suffers the burning of his factory and the murder of a close friend. Another childhood friend, now a lawyer, finally convinces him to join Thomas Dewey in fighting the corruption and intimidation. Gross's third stand-alone historical thriller (after The One Man and The Saboteur) continues the theme of those earlier works by pitting an ordinary person with core morality against seemingly overwhelming forces of evil. VERDICT Neither thriller nor mystery, this is a big departure from Gross's past work and may strain the loyalty of his many fans. But historical fiction fans will be drawn in by the details of the author's own family history in the garment industry. [See Prepub Alert, 3/26/18.]-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.