- Illuminates the way gangster films deal with the ambiguities of modern life, correcting the notion that this genre is inconsequential sensationalism
- Contends that both American and Hong Kong gangster films are against-the-grain reactions to the central fable of modern democracies that promise immigrant (and other) outsiders that they can become social insiders
- Clarifies crucial and fascinating differences between American and Hong Kong approaches to enjoining the discussion of immigrant histories by placing them in counterpoint with each other
- Draws on a range of American films, ranging from Public Enemy and Scarface to Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, and The Godfather
- Explores a number of Hong Kong's 21st century gangster films, including Andrew Lau's great trilogy, Infernal Affairs, and Election and Election 2, directed by Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To
- Concludes with an exclusive interview with The Sopranos' creator, David Chase
List of Illustrations.
1. Immigrant Movie Gangsters: The Outside Story.
2. A Frankensteinian Frenzy: Gangster Identity, Hollywood.
3. Gangster Identity, Hong Kong: A Taoist Code Warrior.
4. Hollywood: The Void of Material Success.
5. Dark Laughter at The Materialist Illusion: Hong Kong.
6. East Meets West: The Sopranos, Gangs of New York, Infernal Affairs.
Afterword. The Lesson: From Here to Modernity.
Appendix. Interview with David Chase (Excerpts From the Transcript).