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The Last Gangster

Tekijä: George Anastasia

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
681396,745 (2.8)-
"It's over. You'd have to be Ray Charles not to see it." --former New Jersey capo Ron Previte, on the mob today As a cop, Ron Previte was corrupt. As a mobster he was brutal. And in his final role, as a confidential informant to the FBI, Previte was deadly. The Last Gangster is his story--the story of the last days of the Philadelphia Mob, and of the clash of generations that brought it down once and for all. For 35 years Ron Previte roamed the underworld. A six-foot, 300-pound capo in the Philadelphia-South Jersey crime family, he ran every mob scam and gambit from drug trafficking and prostitution to the extortion of millions from Atlantic City. In his own words, "Every day was a different felony." By the 1990s, Previte, an old-school workhorse, found himself answering to younger mob bosses like "Skinny Joe" Merlino, who seemed increasingly spoiled, cocky, and careless. Convinced that the honor of the "business" was gone, he became the FBI's secret weapon in an intense and highly personalized war on the Philadelphia mob. Operating with the same guile, wit, and stone-cold bravado that had made him a force in the underworld--and armed with only a wiretap secured to his crotch--Previte recorded it all; the murder, the mayhem, and even the story of mob boss Ralph Natale's affair with his youngest daughter's best friend. Previte and his FBI cronies eventually prevailed, securing the convictions of his nemeses, "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Ralph Natale.… (lisätietoja)
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I lived in Philadelphia at the time Previte was a corrupt cop there. I was 5'3", 99lb, blue-eyed dishwater blonde. One night my door was burst open and two huge Philadelpha cops hurtled into my apartment, "All right, Sonya, we got you now!" they announced. I nearly wet myself in terror and rushed to the bathroom. One of the enormous cops rushed in and watched as I sat on the toilet petrified and embarrassed. I was on my period and the soiled sanitary napkin dangled between my knees as the cop glowered over me. They ransacked my small apartment, then forced me into their car and took me to the police station. On the way I asked who they thought I was and they handed me a wanted poster for Sonya Perez, 5'9", 155lb, brown-eyes, and black hair wanted for writing bad checks. I asked the cops if they had noticed the discrepancy in the description. The fat pig in the passenger seat said, "Oh we know you got your ways, Sonya," and sneered over the seat at me. I spent several hours in a Philadelphia police station while they "checked my fingerprints" amid a roomful of desks where pigs sat and occassionally hollered, "Hey, Sonya!" to make me jump and then the whole room laughed--except me. Eventually, one of the pigs who'd broken into my apartment came out and said, "Well, the fingerprints didn't match," and I was free to go, in the middle of the night in a strange neighborhood.

I don't have much empathy for Ron Previte the corrupt Philadelphia cop.

This is supposed to be the story of the death of the American Mafia as told through the experiences of corrupt cop, made wiseguy and FBI informant, Ron Previte.

Anastasia presents his characters, especially Previte, as just regular working folk doing their job. Only in this case it's murder, drug dealing, stealing, gambling (legal and illegal), threatening violence and actual violence. And in Previte's previous work life, police corruption.

It follows the eight year investigation that leads to the trial of the then head of the Philadelphia mob, Skinny Joey Merlino and several of his associates.

It is somewhat difficult to keep all the names and players clear. The author often has to reference murders and crimes or gangsters who are dead or in jail before the events chronicled in this narrative. It includes a section of FBI surveillance photos which helps somewhat.

The author interviewed Previte during these years. Throughout the book, Anastasia belittles members of the Philadelphia mob and insists that their downfall meant the death of the entire mob.

In a passing reference to activities of the New York families in 1997, I think he elicited, rather than the death, the actual new direction of gangsterism in the new millenium, "In New York, wiseguys about the same age as Merlino were worming their way onto Wall Street, setting up 'pump-and-dump' stock schemes that generated tens of thousands of dollars per score."

The author subscribes to the myth of the Mafia "code of honor" and believes that if the Philadelphia mob had been run with the "old values", Previte would never have turned on them. "His mentality, his demeanor, and his attitude were more suited to the mob of the 1950s and 1960s, the glory days of the organization, when, he says, 'real gangsters' ran the families."

Meh...just another mafiosa glorification. Interesting for some of the gossip, but it seemed like an attempt to put the Philadelphia family on the map. Other books about major crime families in other cities suggest that they have always considered the Philadelphia mob more of a joke than actual mafia. I think Anastasia was trying to remedy that by giving the impression that Philadelphia had at one time been an organization with some clout, and their demise would have even a speck of effect on any of the other families. I think he's wrong, but it was a nice try. ( )
  nowthatsoriginal | Aug 30, 2009 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

"It's over. You'd have to be Ray Charles not to see it." --former New Jersey capo Ron Previte, on the mob today As a cop, Ron Previte was corrupt. As a mobster he was brutal. And in his final role, as a confidential informant to the FBI, Previte was deadly. The Last Gangster is his story--the story of the last days of the Philadelphia Mob, and of the clash of generations that brought it down once and for all. For 35 years Ron Previte roamed the underworld. A six-foot, 300-pound capo in the Philadelphia-South Jersey crime family, he ran every mob scam and gambit from drug trafficking and prostitution to the extortion of millions from Atlantic City. In his own words, "Every day was a different felony." By the 1990s, Previte, an old-school workhorse, found himself answering to younger mob bosses like "Skinny Joe" Merlino, who seemed increasingly spoiled, cocky, and careless. Convinced that the honor of the "business" was gone, he became the FBI's secret weapon in an intense and highly personalized war on the Philadelphia mob. Operating with the same guile, wit, and stone-cold bravado that had made him a force in the underworld--and armed with only a wiretap secured to his crotch--Previte recorded it all; the murder, the mayhem, and even the story of mob boss Ralph Natale's affair with his youngest daughter's best friend. Previte and his FBI cronies eventually prevailed, securing the convictions of his nemeses, "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Ralph Natale.

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