An award-winning journalist and historian offers the complete story of how the Mob infiltrated Havana in the 1950s, made a fortune--and lost it all to Fidel Castro. 16-page b&w photo insert.An award-winning journalist and historian offers the complete story of how the Mob infiltrated Havana in the 1950s, made a fortune--and lost it all to Fidel Castro. 16-page b&w photo insert.Read Less
You may think you know all about the mob, Castro and Cuba but Havana Noctourne will show you that you don't! I saw the author on Jon Stewart and I thought this sounded like a good read but I was in for a surprise. It's a factual and well-researched book that reads like fiction and you cannot put the book down until you've read it all! There's no shortage of well-known names but the real key here is the beginning days of Fidel Castro and his revolution. Once you learn the real reasons behind the revolution, you more fully understand what drove the Cubans into it. The United States is fully culpable in the handling of the mob vis-a-vis Cuba and was willing to turn a blind eye to the mob's dealings there, as long as the money was coming back to the US. The US Government and the mob seriously mis-judged the Cuban people and the outcome of a very young man's rabble-rousing which would lead to a revolution. You will recognize many of the mob names from movies, e.g. The Godfather, but there are many others, particularly out of Florida, who were instrumental in the stranglehold the mob had on Cuba. Movie stars abound as do politcians, particularly a young JFK who had an infamous "romp" witnessed by mob members. Havana Noctourne is a guaranteed good read and you will learn a lot in the process!
Publishers Weekly, 2008-02-04 Old Havana mambos on the brink of the abyss in this chronicle of Cuba in the decades before the 1959 revolution. True-crime writer English (Paddy Whacked) presents an empire-building saga in which the "Havana Mob" of American gangsters, led by visionary financier Meyer Lansky, controlled Cuba. Empowered by permissive gambling laws and payoffs to dictator Fulgencio Batista, the Mafia poured millions into posh hotels, casinos and nightclubs, skimmed huge profits and sought to make Havana its financial headquarters. The results: exuberant nightlife, a giddy Afro-Cuban jazz scene, sordid backroom sex shows and the occasional grisly gangland hit. English revels in purple prose ("the island seethed like a bitch with a low-grade fever") and decadent details, including an orgy with Frank Sinatra and a bevy of prostitutes that was interrupted by autograph-seeking Girl Scouts and a nun. But his estimate of the importance of the Havana mob and its "showdown" with Castro's puritanical rebels seems inflated. More supplicant than suzerain to Batista, the mob focused on internecine feuds and paid little attention to the brewing insurrection. The casinos, hotels and nightclubs were all the mob owned-but they sure threw one hell of a party. Photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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