Joe Dogs: The Life and Crimes of a Mobster

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Joe Dogs is a fast, funny, real-life, fascinating Mafia story, by the man who, turning against his fellow mobsters, provided the FBI with the key to destroying the mob, all the way up to the major "godfathers" and John Gotti. Joseph "Joe Dogs" Iannuzzi rose through the ranks of crime to become a major player in the Gambino crime family, reporting to Tommy Agro, his diminutive, swaggering and homicidal mentor and nemesis, and eventually dealing directly with such high-level mobsters as Joe Gallo, the Gambino ...
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Overview

Joe Dogs is a fast, funny, real-life, fascinating Mafia story, by the man who, turning against his fellow mobsters, provided the FBI with the key to destroying the mob, all the way up to the major "godfathers" and John Gotti. Joseph "Joe Dogs" Iannuzzi rose through the ranks of crime to become a major player in the Gambino crime family, reporting to Tommy Agro, his diminutive, swaggering and homicidal mentor and nemesis, and eventually dealing directly with such high-level mobsters as Joe Gallo, the Gambino family's consigliere, and Carmine "The Snake" Persico, head of the Columbo crime family, on business matters ranging from extortion, leg-breaking, fixing horse races, loansharking, drugs and robbery to murder-for-hire. His rise to stardom in the crime world ended abruptly when Tommy Agro, suspecting that Joe was holding back money he owed, beat him to within an inch of his life. Joe, seeking revenge, turned FBI informant and did such a good job at it (risking his life time and time again) that he became the star witness in no fewer than eleven major trials, as well as the proximate cause of the chain of events that led to the murder of "Boss of Bosses" Paul Castellano by John Gotti and the brief rise to power of Gotti in Big Paulie's place. Here then, at last, is the inside story of the biggest real-life Mafia drama of all - for the quarrel between Joe Dogs and Tommy Agro precipitated not only the murder of Castellano, but the destabilization of the traditional families and the fall of the godfathers. Never before has a mobster revealed so much about the Mafia - how it works, the day-to-day, night-by-night details of crimes and pleasures, the girls, the deals, the gambling, the money, the hits. Never before has a mobster written his story in his own words, not those of a writer, going light years beyond Runyon or Puzo to give us the authentic language of the mob in colorful, shocking, explicit, brutal dialogue, as hard-edged, gritty and real as the streets,

Here is a true account of the Mafia as it has never been seen--the details, the hideaways, the girls, the deals, the hits--written by an insider whose style is as authentic, brutal, and hard-edged as the world he inhabited. From the Gold Coast of Florida to the streets of New York, this is a memoir of an unforgettable mob career. 16 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Probably more fully than other books about the Mafia, this autobiography of a thug who worked primarily for the Gambino crime family, and occasionally for the Colombos, reveals what mobsters are like. Iannuzzi depicts them as stupid, but with a certain shrewdness; fanatically greedy for money, which they spend on mistresses and gambling; and enamored of the street concept of machismo. He likens them to children arguing over whose father is stronger as they simultaneously battle about who has the higher-ranking gangland contacts. Iannuzzi, who grew up in a suburb of New York City, became the right-hand man in Florida for one Tommy Agro; when Iannuzzi was slow to pay a debt of $8000, Agro had him so badly beaten that he became an FBI informant and played a major role at the trials of many Mafiosi throughout the 1980s. ``Joe Dogs'' is now in retirement. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
For readers fascinated by organized crime in America, Iannuzzi, of the Gambino family, gives names and dates and documents murders and double-dealings, all commited in the name of maintaining control. He is brutally frank as he describes the rules of the game followed by the mobsters. To them, protection and murder of their own kind are the facts of life. Seeking revenge against his boss, Thomas Agro, for a beating, Iannuzzi turned FBI informant, was the star witness in five major trials, and was the trigger in the chain of events that led to the murder of Paul Castellano by John Gotti. Iannuzzi's style is glib and fast-paced, and his book will be popular where there is an interest in Mafia stories. It is an optional purchase for other libraries.-- Frances Sandiford, Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, N.Y.
Joe Collins
The name of the author will tip you off that this is one of those tell-all Mafia books. Iannuzzi's tale of his years with the Mob and subsequent cooperation with an FBI investigation of the Gambino and Colombo crime families is colorful, to say the least, peppered as it is with tough street talk and cursing, insider lingo, plenty of sex and violence, and racial slurs. Obviously, a book about organized crime is not for the squeamish; after all, getting "whacked" is an occupational hazard. The story itself is similar to that of Nicholas Pileggi's legendary character "Wiseguy" (on which the film "Goodfellas" is based). Here, Joe Dogs Iannuzzi delves into his early years as a small-time hood on Tommy ("T.A.") Agro's crew as a drug dealer and horse-race fixer. (There's even an explanation here of how to fix a race.) Iannuzzi seems to take it all--including the threats and beatings--in stride, laughing and poking fun at the world's most dangerous criminals and their foibles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671797522
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 5/4/1993
  • Pages: 368

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