Lucky Luciano: The Man Who Organized Crime in Americaby Hickman Powell
He was called the Father of Organized Crime, responsible for the famous Atlantic City meeting in which he persuaded Al Capone, Frank Costello, and Meyer Lansky to run crime as a business. Born into poverty in a small Italian village, he came to New York with his parents, and spent his youth in the bustling Lower Eastside. Growing up in this melting pot, alongside children of Irish, Jewish, and Italian descent, he quickly fell in with those dedicated to a life of crimeseveral of them becoming world-class gangsters. But Charles "Lucky" Luciano would turn out to be the most famous, the most notorious, of them all.
Written by a top investigative reporter, who followed Luciano's 1936 trial from its inception to the jury's verdict, the sentencing, and the unsuccessful appeal, Lucky Luciano is the most vivid complete account of the case ever printed. Hickman Powell not only interviewed Luciano but also the assorted prostitutes and pimps who testified against him. The book is a fascinating living record of the underworld of the 1930s, and an incisive portrait of then prosecuting attorney (later Governor of New York and Republican candidate for president) Thomas E. Dewey, whose tireless efforts resulted in Luciano's conviction.
When the United States entered World War II, Luciano made a deal with the federal government, which allowed him to be set free and return to his native Sicily. While there, he worked for Allied interests. After the war he attempted to return to America but remained persona non grata. He became involved in casinos in Havana, Cuba, but spent most of his time in Italy running his drug and criminal operations from a distance.
Originally published in 1939, Lucky Luciano still reads like today's news.
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Meet the Author
Hickman Powell was a successful newspaper journalist who followed Luciano’s trial from its inception to the jury verdict making it the most complete account ever printed. He became a close friend of District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey, who gave him a front seat at the trial.
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