The Last Pirate of New York by Rich Cohen

The Last Pirate of New York

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, port by port--for fans of Gangs of New York and Boardwalk Empire.Albert Hicks was a feared, shadowy figure of the New York underworld in the mid-1800s. Handsome and charismatic, he was known to frequent the dive bars and gin joints of the Five Points, the most dangerous neighborhood in maritime Manhatta...

Details The Last Pirate of New York

TitleThe Last Pirate of New York
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherSpiegel & Grau
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Biography, Mystery

Reviews The Last Pirate of New York

  • Heidi The Reader
    A fantastic and non-fiction account of Albert Hicks, the last man to be publicly executed in New York City and also one of the last to be tried and convicted for piracy. For fans of history, this is a must-read."Albert Hicks is the closest thing the New York underworld has to a Cain, the first killer and the first banished man, carrying that dread mark: MURDER. He operated so long ago, in a city so similar to and yet so different from our own, th...
  • Andrew
    Cohen is one of my favorite authors-fiction or non-fiction. The Last Pirate of New York is one of his best books and that is high praise. The story of the first(1860) New York Gangster—Albert Hicks—the link between Captain Kidd and John Gotti-this book is both a fascinating history of the now little known Hicks but is also a social history of New York and a melancholy ode to our rambunctious and unbridled past. Highly Reccommended.
  • Bandit
    Once upon a time New York was a land of gangsters and before that…gasp…pirates. Much as I loathe the city, I love a good New York story and this one had a freaking pirate, how do you pass that up? Well, you don’t. You read it and find out all about the man who went by alias William Johnson and was in fact the last person to be publically hung in New York. What a character. What a story. It starts off dramatically enough with a ghost ship di...
  • Jenny
    Incredibly well-written and engaging. Most people don’t know piracy was still happening in the US this late into the 19th century. The author paints a vivid picture of the life and crimes of a notorious New York-based pirate.Advance copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Amy
    Not since Erik Larson have I read a nonfiction that reads like fiction. A event that I knew nothing about, Rich Cohen relays the incredible tale of Albert Hicks,-a monster of a man who committed horrible crimes. I wavered between four and five stars.... four stars because it was to short and I wanted more.
  • Xstch3
    Very well written book! Lots of history, very interesting, captivating true story. 4 1/2 stars!
  • Casey Wheeler
    The book was well written and researched. The story line about Albert Hicks, a notorious killer and so called pirate, was well done. The author does a good job on the killer and the ghost ship, but greatly lacking on how this created the birth of a gangster nation. I also found the frequest quoting of testmony in the trial somewhat tedious. Other parts of the book felt a little like filler to make for greater length.I recomend this book for those...
  • Out of the Bex
    A must-read for fans of true crime, history, and books set in New York City.The bloody and true story of Albert Hicks is one hell of a ride. Better still, it is told perfectly in this rendition by author Rich Cohen. The Last Pirate of New York is the kind of story that so enthralls the mind you can't wait to see a friend, just for the excuse to share it with another soul. It begs to be told, again and again and again. I don't want to tell you to ...
  • Anna
    The Last Pirate of New York was a really fun book to read. The author wrote it not in the style of a biography, but more like a story, following Hicks through his final crime. Though I was expecting more of a biography style book, I found myself to enjoy the book greatly. I was surprised at how much information the author was able to find on Hicks! Many of the resources were from the early to mid 1800's which cannot be easy to obtain. His knowled...
  • Alysson
    Before there were gangsters, there were pirates. This book is about Albert Hicks, the last man to be publicly executed in New York City and one of the last to be convicted for piracy. This book was excellent! If you are a history fan, definitely pick this up. It reads very much like a fiction book because it’s so enthralling. This books truly gives you a picture of the New York underworld before it was highways and towers. Having lived near and...
  • Karen & Gerard
    The Last Pirate of New York by Rich Cohen tells you the story of Albert Hicks aka The Last Pirate. You will have to read the book to find out why this is so. You go back to the 1880s in this book which I found interesting. The writer did his homework in making me really get the feel who Hicks was. This is a quick read, read it in two days. (Gerard's review)
  • Mel
    This was a fascinating book about Albert Hicks, a river pirate in 1860s New York. It is filled with a lot of fascinating tidbits of info, and also corrects some of the facts Herbert Asbury got wrong about him in his book Gangs of New York. If you're interested in true crime from this time period, like I am, this will prove to be a most interesting and enlightening read. I gave it 5 stars and put it on the some of my best reads pile.
  • Krisette Spangler
    I would compare this novel to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. The writing is great, but the story is extremely grisly. I would only recommend this one to those who really enjoy reading about serial killers.
  • Dave Taylor
    Very interesting historical drama, though I think Cohen makes two mistakes in the book that I didn't enjoy: 1. Sporadically weaves in dramatized prose that feels odd (the ending is particularly weird) and 2. He fails to label a single photograph, making me wonder why they were in the book and how they related to the specific chapters. At a higher level, Cohen also claims that the main character is the archetype for all criminals in the greater Ne...
  • Elise Wright
    I received this in a Goodreads giveaway.I loved this a lot and I want more! I will be reading more by Rich Cohen I loved the way it was written. I had never heard of Albert Hicks prior to this but he truly was the last pirate before everything changed with the world and law enforcement cracked down on pirates. The story followed Hicks on the crime that put the last nail in his coffin as well as dug into his past and what inevitably led him down s...
  • Mathias Mueller
    Over 20,000 people were present when Albert W. Hicks climbed the gallows with stoic calm in 1860. It was to be the last public execution in New York. Where the good-looking and fashionably dressed Hicks was taken to the afterlife on Friday, 13 July 1860, stands the Statue of Liberty today. Hicks had killed three men with an axe on an oyster ship in an extremely cold-blooded and brutal manner and then made off with his loot worth around 200 dollar...
  • Linda Munro
    I received this ARC via a goodreads giveaway.This is the true story of Albert Hicks, a gangster, murderer and pirate who terrorized the world; although this specific installment, while touching on his crimes at large, is centered on the massacre of three seafaring men near New York City.Hicks is a man of legend, signing onto ships to reach his next destination of robbing and pillaging; always escaping just ahead of the law; but the mid-1800’s w...
  • Timothy ODwyer
    An excellent, eloquently crafted series of events centering in and around the notorious killer and pirate, Albert Hicks. The amount of details that were patched together from newspapers, books, court reports, police investigations, letters and other types literature from the 1850s and 1860s paints a vivid picture of New York City and its state of affairs and its overall character. The imagery and placement of buildings to the routes taken within ...
  • Brandon Cronk
    The story of Albert Hicks was interesting and it was presented in a way that was easy to follow along. My complaint is that the author spends too much time on some aspects of the story and speeds through others. An example is The Confession, it felt like all of Hicks' history was given in such a short part of the book when it seemed like it would have been interesting to hear about all of the things he did in his life up until he was finally capt...
  • Dan Maguire
    4.5/5 stars. The blurb about this book had me thinking that Albert Hicks was a "swashbuckling" pirate with a bandanna, eye patch, parrot and jug of rum standing beneath a jolly roger. He wasn't. He was a 19th century outlaw biker whose cycle was different boats he would mutiny on and steal from. Cohen has written a compulsively readable book about a cruel sociopath who was not very bright, but bright enough to lead a life of crime and decadence f...
  • Amanda
    This is a book with an intriguing premise. The delivery is hindered by the structure of the story as well as the author’s side-along commentary which I personally didn’t care for. (In the middle of explaining the antihero’s movements, he interjects, “A pirate at forty is like another man at seventy- he has lived so rough for so long and done so many terrible things. He has lost all faith in human nature, turned his back on God. He is the ...
  • RMazin
    Piracy in New York as late as the 1860s? On the Hudson River? Grisly murders? Detectives with no scientific forensics available? A sensational murder trial? I’m in!Albert Hicks is the roguish, thuggish and rarely charming perpetrator. Cohen follows the gory details though careful research and setting the stage in the crime-infested, poverty of lower Manhattan. Although Cohen connects these dots to the somewhat glorification of latter day Mafia ...
  • C. S.
    A fascinating story told extremely well. Cohen's writing style is unbelievably engaging, even if at points I felt the narrative wandered a bit too far into conjecture and wasn't sure of the source to back it up. That doesn't take away from the fact that this book is a fabulous look at a less well explored piece of American history, one that also looks at the mythos and legendry that tends to gloss over stories told.I'd recommend for fans of Ameri...
  • Kristine
    The Last Pirate of New York by Rich Cohen is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.Cohen seeped early on in stories of the New York mob, so he decides to cover the illegal takeover of different ‘ghost’ ships that had entered New York harbor starting in the 1860s. After committing theft and murder, an influx of sailors and pirates filter into the city and its boroughs. From there, there's the involvement of the police and court syst...
  • Eric
    A great read on the crimes of, search for, and death of Albert Hicks, America's last pirate. Or America's first gangster.I had an interest in pirates going into this (growing up on the Depp movies, how could you not?) but enjoyed reading how the author retells Hicks's last days and discussed how those who operate outside the rules afterward transitioned from seafarers to landlubbers. The only downside to this book was that it seemed rather short,...
  • Jessica
    This was received as an ARC from a giveaway. Being someone who loves both true crime and history, I was extremely excited to read this book. It was a fascinating read, keeping you intrigued by both the personal storyline and historical facts behind it. I can honestly say that I hadn't even heard of Hicks before this book. If I were to mention one thing negative, there were occasions - especially at the beginning- when the writer tended to go over...
  • Maranda
    This was not my subject nor was the narrative to my liking; skimmed the pages. I know that many have enjoyed this and I picked this up wanting to experience a Rich Cohen novel. If you like a tale of gruesome killings perhaps this would be for you. "A copy of this book was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Random House via NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."