T Nation


This movie was a lot better then I expected… Are there any books on this ERA in 1864?

I heard it was a lot more violent then the movie back in that ERA… I want know if the movie stayed true to its story… I know the love story between dicapro and diaz is bogous but what about the violence and the gangs was it real that bad back then?

There are a few books about that era. I was watching a show on the History channel this weekend (ironically a few hours before seeing the movie) about the History of Street Gangs. It talked about the beginning of street gangs from the Five Points and mentioned the various gangs mentioned in the movie, as well as the scandulous politics in Tamanamy. It was a cool show and helped give me some background so that when I actually saw the movie later that night, I knew exactly what they were talking about. I can’t remember the names of the books, but there are several that cover that area including one about the burning of New York City.

The movie was based on a book, you may want to check that out. The book was much more historical in nature.

You should check out the book “Low Life” by Luc Sante. It bogs down in a few spots but it is mostly awesome. New York City was like the Wild West, with gambling, con games, prostitution, murder, corruption, etc… I recommend this book highly. It might be at your local library…?

Yeah I saw that program the day I went and saw the movie too. I thought they stayed fairly close to the historical acounts along with the dramatic add ins. The t.v. program helped me have a better understanding with the movie as well.

I also saw a show on TV about the movie and it spoke to the fact the many of the events in the movie are based on real life events. The TV show covered various locations and compared and contrasted the actual events with the movie. I have not seen the movie yet but want to since seeing the TV show about the era.

Just saw it: wow! Daniel Day Lewis’s perfomance and character are amazing. Easily the best performance I’ve seen in some time. An intriging movie as well. It’s mind boggling to think good ol’ clean US of A was that corrupt and violent less than 150 yrs ago. I would love to catch that program on the History channel.

A fine fictional work based loosely in this era is A Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin.

Dude, do a search on barnesandnoble.com on “Five Points” and it’ll pull up a listing for a very cool book on this topic.

Here are two interesting facts regarding that era. All of the horses in NYC generated upwards of 500 tons of horsehit per day which was dropped on the street. Municipal garbage service did not exist so the streets were filled with garbage and horseshit all of the time. The odor, bugs and disease must have been overwhelming.

Second: The infamous Sullivan gun laws in NYC were proposed by a Tammany Hall politician. The reason he wanted to take away concealed weapons from the common citizen is that many of his constituents were being shot and killed during robberies and this was bad for his political base. Makes you wonder.