The Great Depression …
A new decade began with futile hopes of regaining prosperity snuffed out by 1929’s final roar. The market crash swept many hard-working citizens into a whirlwind of economic and emotional despair. It seemed only two entities could survive and flourish from such downtrodden souls: industrial robber barons and gangsters.
The latter’s exploitation of liquor, gambling, sex and shylock was further augmented by a sin many did not and still not wish to speak of. Indeed, the smoky ambivalence could not remain shrouded forever. Masses sought narcotized escape; the underworld became Doctor Feelgood; the moral majority was last to even notice.
Opportunity knocked a decade before, and Arnold ‘The Brain’ Rothstein answered, schooling young gangsters in all that things that fill wallets, and the logistic science of assuring the demand is supplied. Among the Brain’s pupils were the future of gangland all-stars; Lucky Luciano, Legs Diamond, Frank Costello, George Uffner, Dutch Schultz, Lepke Buchalter, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. Each developed skills and specialties; a select few became experts in providing opium dreams.
Our story continues with the tales of the original DOPE MEN!