Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman
Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles

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Based on real-life facts, the author shows his talent through his unique flair for writing.


"Read this man's book." --James Ellroy

A harrowing, edge-of-your-seat narrative of murder and secrets, revenge and heroism in the City of Angels—the real events behind the blockbuster Warner Brothers film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

GANGSTER SQUAD chronicles the true story of the secretive police unit that waged an anything-goes war to drive Mickey Cohen and other hoodlums from Los Angeles after WWII. In 1946, the LAPD launched the Gangster Squad with eight men who met covertly on street corners and slept with Tommy guns under their beds. But for two cops, all that mattered was nailing the strutting gangster Mickey Cohen. Sgt. Jack O'Mara was a square-jawed church usher, Sgt. Jerry Wooters a cynical maverick. About all they had in common was their obsession. So O'Mara set a trap to prove Mickey was a killer. And Wooters formed an alliance with Mickey's budding rival, Jack "The Enforcer" Whalen. Two cops -- two hoodlums. Their fates collided in the closing days of the 1950s, when late one night "The Enforcer" confronted Mickey and his crew. The aftermath would shake both LA's mob and police department, and signal the end of a defining era in the city's history.

Warner Brothers developed the film Gangster Squad based on the research award-winning journalist Paul Lieberman conducted for this book, which reveals the unbelievable true stories behind the film. He spent more than a decade tracking down and interviewing surviving members of the real police unit as well as families and associates of the mobsters they pursued. Gangster Squad is a tour-de-force narrative reminiscent of LA Confidential.


About Paul Lieberman

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PAUL LIEBERMAN is a journalist with more than a quarter century of experience as a writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has won dozens of journalism honors, most for investigative projects, including the Robert F. Kennedy Awards Grand Prize, a George Polk Award, Gerald Loeb Award, American Society of Newspaper Editors Award and Scripps Howard Foundation Award. He also shared in two team Pulitzer Prizes at the L.A. Times, as a writer on its coverage of the Los Angeles Riots and an editor of its reporting on the Northridge Earthquake. A native New Yorker, Lieberman is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where he studied law and social history. He lives in Westchester County with his wife, a school administrator.
Published August 7, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin. 560 pages
Genres: Crime, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Gangster Squad
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Huntington News

Reviewed by David Kinchen on Aug 14 2012

Lieberman...spent well over a decade tracking down surviving members of the real police unit and conducted more than 300 interviews in all to write the book version of “Gangster Squad.”

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Criminal Element

Reviewed by Richard Santos on Aug 07 2012

The best part of Gangster Squad is that it feels like a new cops and robbers story...Yet the “Gangster Squad” and the mobsters they went after have largely stayed under the radar.

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Based on real-life facts, the author shows his talent through his unique flair for writing.

Read Full Review of Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, ...

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