The Last Pirate of New York

By Rich Cohen

The Last Pirate of New York - Rich Cohen
  • Release Date: 2019-06-04
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4
From 29 Ratings


Was he New York City’s last pirate . . . or its first gangster? This is the true story of the bloodthirsty underworld legend who conquered Manhattan, dock by dock—for fans of Gangs of New York and Boardwalk Empire.

“History at its best . . . I highly recommend this remarkable book.”—Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God

Handsome and charismatic, Albert Hicks had long been known in the dive bars and gin joints of the Five Points, the most dangerous neighborhood in maritime Manhattan. For years, he operated out of the public eye, rambling from crime to crime, working on the water in ships, sleeping in the nickel-a-night flops, drinking in barrooms where rat-baiting and bear-baiting were great entertainments.

His criminal career reached its peak in 1860, when he was hired, under an alias, as a hand on an oyster sloop. His plan was to rob the ship and flee, disappearing into the teeming streets of lower Manhattan, as he’d done numerous times before, eventually finding his way back to his nearsighted Irish immigrant wife (who, like him, had been disowned by her family) and their infant son. But the plan went awry—the ship was found listing and unmanned in the foggy straits of Coney Island—and the voyage that was to enrich him instead led to his last desperate flight.

Long fascinated by gangster legends, Rich Cohen tells the story of this notorious underworld figure, from his humble origins to the wild, globe-crossing, bacchanalian crime spree that forged his ruthlessness and his reputation, to his ultimate incarnation as a demon who terrorized lower Manhattan, at a time when pirates anchored off 14th Street.

Advance praise for The Last Pirate of New York

“A remarkable work of scholarship about old New York, combined with a skillfully told, edge-of-your-seat adventure story—I could not put it down.”—Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia

“With its wise and erudite storytelling, Rich Cohen’s The Last Pirate of New York takes the reader on an exciting nonfiction narrative journey that transforms a grisly nineteenth-century murder into a shrewd portent of modern life. Totally unique, totally compelling, I enjoyed every page.”—Howard Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Gangland and American Lightning


  • Disappointing...

    By Salifer
    I was really excited about this book and wanted to love it...but the book failed to live up to its promises. From the description, I expected to read a compelling history of how the titular character directly contributed to NYC’s mob culture. Instead, I read a convoluted story that repeated itself and, other than the author mentioning that the story of Albert Hicks was a gangster bed-time story (fairy tale?), it really showed no correlation to what modern Americans think of as the mob or gangsters.
  • Magic

    By Neal JE
    A materwork!! Better then The Devil In The White City. Mystery, adventure, what more cabn you ask for?
  • Awful book

    By Yankees5825
    I skimmed half of this book. This book tuned out to be a real disappointment. It was a waste of money. Very poorly written, and redundant. I would giving zero stars to his book if I could. Do not buy this book. I would never recommend this terrible book to anyone. Worst book I’ve read this year. This author should be ashamed of himself for working such a terrible book.