The First Vice Lord: Big Jim Colosemo and the Ladies of the Levee

The First Vice Lord Big Jim Colosemo and the Ladies of the Levee THE FIRST VICE LORD is the story of the life and death of Big Jim Colosimo and Chicago s infamous segregated red light district the Levee For the first time the true story is told of the colorful cha

  • Title: The First Vice Lord: Big Jim Colosemo and the Ladies of the Levee
  • Author: Art Bilek
  • ISBN: 9781581826395
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Hardcover
  • THE FIRST VICE LORD is the story of the life and death of Big Jim Colosimo and Chicago s infamous segregated red light district the Levee For the first time, the true story is told of the colorful characters who peopled the Levee from the time of the Columbian Exposition to the Roaring Twenties, clearly the most colorful period in Chicago s history The product of five yTHE FIRST VICE LORD is the story of the life and death of Big Jim Colosimo and Chicago s infamous segregated red light district the Levee For the first time, the true story is told of the colorful characters who peopled the Levee from the time of the Columbian Exposition to the Roaring Twenties, clearly the most colorful period in Chicago s history The product of five years of research through Chicago daily newspapers, magazines, and periodicals, and books on the city s history, it documents the story as it occurred, with all of the sights, sounds, and smells of that lusty, unruly era THE FIRST VICE LORD is the story of an immigrant Italian lad who grew up in the tenements of Chicago, where he worked first as a lowly street sweeper, then as a brothel operator and vice lord, and finally as the owner of the most famous restaurant of his day His story is told against the backdrop of an open red light district so famous it was known to the crown heads of Europe.

    One thought on “The First Vice Lord: Big Jim Colosemo and the Ladies of the Levee”

    1. Bilek delivers an authoritative look at pre-Prohibition Era Chicago. The reader watches in astonishment as a variety of well-intentioned crusades to clean up the Windy City's most notorious neighborhoods actually serve to encourage coordinated efforts among the purveyors of vice and give rise to vast criminal empires.The author, a member of the Chicago Crime Commission's board of directors and an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Loyola University, pays special attention to the waxing and [...]

    2. I've been looking forward to this book since the day I learned that Art Bilek intended to do a biography of Big Jim Colosimo. Colosimo was Chicago's first Italian crime lord, a distinction that the less informed have bestowed upon Al Capone. Those with only a passing knowledge of Chicago's organized crime history are not aware that years before Capone's machine gunners decimated his challengers, Big Jim Colosimo headed a vice trust with nationwide connections, enjoyed political alliances that re [...]

    3. Big Jim appears to be more complex than I had originally thought. I thought he was just a big Italian who liked to cook spaghetti, extort money and have people killed. His relationship with opera "star" Dale Winter is very intriguing, especially since he left his wife (an Italian, too!) of umpteen years for her. Great Chicago history just BAD EDITING!!! Nothing irritates me more than misspelled words and improper facts in published books. My favorite from this book: Talking how one gangster was [...]

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