From the late 1960s, Jewish American organized crime became part of an entire literature on "tough Jews." The Jewish gangsters and boxers in the pre-World War II era, were seen as tougher, more aggressive role models, which freed Jews from the dominantstereotype of cowardice, pacifism, intellectualism and professional legitimacy. The stigma of defenselessness and powerlessness associated with Jews, compared with the physical aggressiveness and lawlessness, which was more stereotypical of the Irish and Italian immigrants began to disappear. According to Rich Cohen, author of Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons and Gangster Dreams:
- "if Jewish gangsters still thrived today, if they hadn't gone legit, if Jews of my generation didn't regard them as figments, creatures to be classed with Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster, I think the Jewish community would be better off."