Author, Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream
This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Michael Shnayerson, author of Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream. In this episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Michael talks about how Siegel grew up on the lower East Side of New York; the beginning of his friendshhip with Meyer Lansky when they were kids; the reason Siegel became a major crime figure; the importance of loyalty to Siegel; his life in three parts: the lower East Side of New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas; how he beat back two government agencies while building the Flamingo; his greatest demon; and his biggest mistake with his prized Las Vegas hotel.
Michael Shnayerson is a long-time staff writer for Vanity Fair who has published more than 75 features on a wide range of topics. He is also the author of eight books, also on a wide range of subjects. His recent books include The Contender, an unauthorized biography of former New York governor Andrew Cuomo; a colorful history of contemporary art dealers called Boom, ; and Bugsy, a short biography of the notorious Jewish gangster for “Jewish Lives,” a series of some 50 biographies, similarly short, of well-known Jewish figures from the 19th and 20th centuries. The other 49 are all distinguished figures. Bugsy is not, which seems to be why the book has done very well. Michael lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife Gayfryd Steinberg.