In the autobiography, The Last Jewish Gangster, The Early Years, follow the life of Michael J. Hardy, a chubby Jewish boy from the Brownsville streets in Brooklyn to the world's most dangerous prison in Mexico. Michael wants nothing more than to prove to his "Queen of NYC crime" mother that he deserves her love and is tougher than the famous gangsters she dates (Bugsy Siegel is Michael's godfather). Coming from a mixed heritage of Southern Baptists and Ashkenazic Ukrainian Jews, without a father, and rejected by his mother at birth, Michael becomes a fearless and lawless gangster over the next five decades.
When he finally reaches his goal, his mother is on her death bed, he's been shot 11 times, robbed hundreds of people, spent 16 years in prisons and jails (with more to come), committed multiple kidnappings, and killed 19 times. Now he struggles with forgiveness, within himself, those he harmed, and those who harmed him.
What's unique about this true crime biography is the first-person look inside the psyche of a fearless gangster as he tells his life's story to his lawyer in 1990 and his therapist in 2014. Sometimes humorous, often times you have to look away – but you'll find yourself rooting for Michael J. Hardy, The Last Jewish Gangster.
Through weekly one-on-one interviews over 2-1/2 years in Michael Hardy's Section-8 apartment in San Diego, California beginning in June 2013, David S. Larson crafted his story. He culled through Michael's extensive raps sheets, uncovered a 1968 report on La Mesa del Diablo Prison in Mexico, read newspaper articles written about Michael Hardy, listened to taped interviews, talked to his wife, sister, and a daughter, interviewed his L.A. lawyer, Jimmy Blatt, and spoke with Nick Pileggi.
In the complete three-tome biography, readers will meet Michael's family, a mixed heritage of Ukrainian Ashkenazic Jews and Southern Baptists; his neglectful mob mother; his absent father; relatives who tried to raise him; his accomplices (e.g., Sammy "the bull" Gravano); the women in his life (wives, girlfriends, gun molls); his four children; those who betrayed him or tried to kill him (e.g., John Gotti, the mob, his son, and his mother); those he did time with (e.g., the Hillside Strangler, Howard Hunt, Mob bosses); the law (e.g., judges, prosecutors, Feds, Federalis, marshals, cops, detectives, wardens – some dirty); many other notables (e.g., JFK, Rudy Giuliani, Marcia Clark); his lawyer Jimmy Blatt who defended him for murder in 1990; and his therapist in 2013, Dr. El.