The Forgotten Capital of Vice: The Mob in Hot Springs, Arkansas
Before Las Vegas became the underworld’s casino playground, Hot Springs, Arkansas, was a favorite vacation spot — and hideout — for the nation’s big-time mobsters. Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello and dozens of other organized crime figures descended on the town’s soothing hot springs and dens of gambling and other vices. Author David Hill provides a detailed portrait of this often-overlooked corner of Mob history.
This program will take place in the Museum’s Historic Courtroom. A book signing in the Courtroom will follow.
David Hill is originally from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he was raised in a family of carnies, gamblers, hell-raisers and story-tellers. He spent over a decade traveling the United States and Canada as a union organizer before settling down in New York with his wife and three children.
David is a regular contributor to The Ringer and the host of the Spotify Original podcast Gamblers. His work has been featured on This American Life, in Esquire, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and in various other publications in print and across the internet.
His column “Fading the Vig: A Gambler’s Guide to Life” was selected in several Best Of The Year lists including Slate and Longreads. His feature “In the Pit With the Fighting Rooster” received the Sidney Award for Outstanding Journalism from the Hillman Foundation. He serves on the executive board of the National Writers Union.
David’s first book, “The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America’s Forgotten Capital of Vice,” was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book for 2020.