In one sense, this is a typically American story of a father who wanted a better life for his sons than he had had; in another, however, it is anything but representative. ``Crazy Sal'' Polisi was a New York City criminal, involved in gambling, car and jewelry theft, hijacking and drug dealing. In an effort to reform, he moved his family to upstate New York in 1982 with hopes of a new life; both his sons became football stars. But he soon returned to drug dealing, was caught and chose to become a government informant rather than serve a 35-year jail term. Polisi then helped convict a corrupt judge and testified against John Gotti, so he and his family were placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program, which meant relocation and new names. But he was ill-suited to this program--a flamboyant man, he hungered for the spotlight--and left federal protection (only to return to it again). Taylor, whose articles have appeared in Esquire and New York magazines, has told the tale of Polisi's strangely shifting fortunes well. Author tour. (Aug.)
To avoid a long prison term for selling cocaine, lifelong criminal Sal Polisi became an undercover informant. He helped convict a corrupt Queens, New York judge and testified against reputed Mafia boss John Gotti (who was acquitted). In return, Polisi, his wife, and two sons were given new identities under the Federal Witness Protection Program. In this account, journalist Taylor emphasizes the effects Polisi's actions had on his family. Half of the book consists of a first-person narrative attributed to teenage Sal Polisi Jr. While an interesting perspective, this device is a bit misleading since the author's prose makes the boy seem wise beyond his years and amazingly well adjusted. Some readers may find this account too uncritical, but it should attract an audience.-- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis Bowker's Legal Publishing Preview invites you to join other legal professionals in reviewing new and forthcoming legal titles. Anyone interested in writing 500-700 word reviews or in submitting lead article proposals should contact M.C. Susan De Maio, Managing Editor, Legal Reference Publishing, R.R. Bowker, 245 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011 or call 212-337-6995.