Daughter of the King: Growing Up in Gangland

Overview


Sandi Lansky Lombardo grew up the only daughter of mob boss Meyer Lansky. Raised in upper-class Jewish splendor, first at the Majestic Hotel and then at the Beresford, at finishing schools and fancy stables, Sandi was the wild child of the late 40’s, the 50’s, and the early 60’s. She was the Paris Hilton of her day, partying till dawn at El Morocco and the Stork Club, dating the biggest celebrities of the era. Her life was not without heartbreak and tragedy, including the insanity of her mother, and the ...
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Daughter of the King: Growing Up in Gangland

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Overview


Sandi Lansky Lombardo grew up the only daughter of mob boss Meyer Lansky. Raised in upper-class Jewish splendor, first at the Majestic Hotel and then at the Beresford, at finishing schools and fancy stables, Sandi was the wild child of the late 40’s, the 50’s, and the early 60’s. She was the Paris Hilton of her day, partying till dawn at El Morocco and the Stork Club, dating the biggest celebrities of the era. Her life was not without heartbreak and tragedy, including the insanity of her mother, and the crippling handicap of her baby brother – not to mention his drug addiction.

Sandi was privy to her father’s secrets as well as his unexpected tenderness. She always stuck closely to the strict code of omerta. In Daughter of the King, Sandi teams up with Nick Pileggi (author of the seminal Wise Guy, perhaps the best-selling mob book ever) and multiple time New York Times Bestselling writer Bill Stadiem. Nick has made a career in books and films chronicling the mob, and Bill has emerged as a master of recreating the glamour and romance of the golden era of American culture with bestsellers like Mr. S and George Hamilton’s Don’t Mind if I Do.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Domenica Ruta
The book is studded with riveting personal stories about Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano, Sinatra and the Kennedys. Sandra Lansky, along with her co-writer, William Stadiem, has assembled a work of retrospective honesty that delivers an intimate look inside the mob.
From the Publisher

"Lansky tells of an adoration of her father that rings...touching...Yet she does not hold back spilling details of the colorful gangster characters that made up this perilous, vanished world"—Publisher's Weekly

"A fascinating account of a girl and her father, a man who happened to be a criminal." -Booklist

Library Journal
03/15/2014
The child of Mafia kingpin Meyer Lansky and a beautiful but unstable mother, Sandra Lansky grew up amid money, power, and celebrity. She dined in fine restaurants with her father and his mobster friends and partied at the hottest night spots. But wealth and glitz couldn't keep away all of life's tragedies: a severely disabled older brother, a chronically depressed mother, a divorce and her father's subsequent marriage to a despised stepmother, and an addiction to diet pills. Then there were the intimations of violence, including the death of her beloved Uncle Bugsy and the whispers of her father's involvement. She writes about her growing awareness of the crime that surrounded her, coming to terms with her past—and her father's—and settling down to live a happily legal existence. VERDICT Lansky's memoir chronicles an indisputably glamorous life, with some disturbing if understandable denial of the criminal enterprise that enabled it. Captivating reading for fans of celebrity memoirs and true crime.—Deirdre Bray, Middletown P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-29
A biography of a true Mafia princess that leaves a lot to the imagination, despite assistance from veteran Hollywood chronicler Stadiem (Moneywood: Hollywood in Its Last Age of Excess, 2013, etc.). It's no secret that readers are fascinated by the rich, the famous and the criminal, so it's no surprise that Sandra Lansky, daughter of infamous mob boss Meyer Lansky (1902–1983), has a platform from which to share her story. However, this is no insider's account of the Mafia's heyday. The author, in what seems to be an attempt to protect her father's memory from the stain of organized crime, hasn't just whitewashed the story; she's bleached it. Lansky refers to many of the men in the book as "uncle," but she claims to know little about the machinations of her father and his associates. She does cover the basics: Meyer was in business with all the usual suspects, was intimately involved with gambling, had a hand in Las Vegas and built a resort in Cuba. Unfortunately, the author provides very few details of the business, elements that would make the tale far more intriguing. When she does speak of her father and his associates, she is intent on convincing readers that they were honest businessmen, demonized by a cruel and unfair government. Personal details are in better supply, but even when writing about her sex life, drug use or fear over her father's legal troubles, the narrative is only surface deep. Though she writes about her past truthfully, the prose lacks revelation. Lansky admits candidly that she was spoiled and lived in forced silence, but she writes wistfully, as though she wishes for a life forever frozen in childhood. For a more mature and nuanced look at the life of Meyer Lansky and his family, look elsewhere. A good place to start: Robert Lacey's Little Man (1991).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452619620
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Sales rank: 660,554
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Sandra Lansky lives in Florida with her husband.
 
William Stadiem is a multiple New York Times bestselling writer and the author of eight books. He is a master of re-creating the glamour of America’s golden era with his bestsellers Marilyn Monroe Confidential, Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra, and George Hamilton’s Don’t Mind If I Do. He abandoned Wall Street for Sunset Boulevard, where he has since worked as a screenwriter, a columnist for Andy Warhol’s Interview, and the restaurant critic for Los Angeles. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
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