Center for Jewish History Helps Bring Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s Captivating Story to Life

New York, NY (April 06, 2021)

In a brief life that led to a violent end, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (1906–1947) rose from desperate poverty to ill-gotten riches, from an early-twentieth-century family of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side to a kingdom of his own making in Las Vegas.

Author Michael Shnayerson paints a captivating portrait of the American gangster in Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream. The Center for Jewish History, where some of the research for the book was conducted, will host a Zoom program featuring Shnayerson on Monday, April 26 at 4pm.

“Bugsy Siegel was a man of many contradictions. Our fascination with him remains strong, nearly 75 years after his murder. This book really explores the source of that fascination, as well as the myth-making that has shaped his legacy,” said Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History.

Through the 1920s, 1930s, and most of the 1940s, Bugsy Siegel and his longtime partner in crime Meyer Lansky engaged in innumerable acts of violence. As World War II came to an end, Siegel saw the potential for a huge, elegant casino resort in the sands of Las Vegas. Jewish gangsters built nearly all of the Vegas casinos that followed. Then, one by one, they disappeared. Siegel’s story laces through a larger, generational story of eastern European Jewish immigrants in the early- to mid-twentieth century.

Program registrants will receive a code for 30% off and free shipping on the book.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; registration required at /tickets/bugsy-siegel-2021-04-26 to receive a Zoom link

This program is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.