The members of the “big crowd” referred to in the title of Kevin Baker’s rewarding new novel are, more or less, the bad guys of the story: the pols, mobsters, union goons and grasping business types who fend off reformers and joust for control of New York in the middle of the 20th century. Read More

Advance Praise for The Big Crowd

“The Big Crowd is nothing short of a modern masterpiece. Kevin Baker brings the docks of New York and all their intrigue back to life in vivid detail, combining the historical and the human into a deeply affecting story that connects the past to the present in a way that many novels attempt but few manage.” —Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo   “With The Big Crowd, Kevin Baker earns the title of Best American Historical Novelist –heck, maybe best American novelist, period. This inspired, fun, serious, thought-provoking, page-turning book gives all the good, old pleasures: if you Read More

Read An Excerpt From The Big Crowd

Brooklyn, 1940 There was something about the man that made you want to hit him in the face the moment you laid eyes on him. Abe Reles, a.k.a., Kid Twist II. He was a short guy in a loud suit, no more than five-two, but he had arms that hung down to his knees, with huge hands and spatulate fingers. He had a clown’s face, or more precisely the face of a second banana in a cheap burlesque house, with a big nose and big ears, thick red lips and big, brown doe-like eyes that could turn instantly from mischief Read More