Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers [NOOK Book]

Overview

Now in paperback, this is investigative reporter Gus Russo's most explosive book yet, the remarkable story of the "Supermob"-a cadre of men who, over the course of decades, secretly influenced nearly every aspect of American society. Presenting startling revelations about such famous members as Jules Stein, Joe Glaser, Ronald Reagan, Lew Wasserman, and John Jacob Factor-as well as infamous, low-profile members-Russo pulls the lid off of a half-century of criminal infiltration into American business, politics, and...
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Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers

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Overview

Now in paperback, this is investigative reporter Gus Russo's most explosive book yet, the remarkable story of the "Supermob"-a cadre of men who, over the course of decades, secretly influenced nearly every aspect of American society. Presenting startling revelations about such famous members as Jules Stein, Joe Glaser, Ronald Reagan, Lew Wasserman, and John Jacob Factor-as well as infamous, low-profile members-Russo pulls the lid off of a half-century of criminal infiltration into American business, politics, and society. At the heart of it all is Sidney "The Fixer" Korshak, who from the 1940s until his death in the 1990s was not only the most powerful lawyer in the world, according to the FBI, but the enigmatic player behind countless twentieth-century power mergers, political deals, and organized crime chicaneries.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran investigative author and organized crime expert Russo's magnum opus is a compelling look at one of the last century's major power players: Sidney Korshak, a "sphinxlike operator" who, despite pulling the strings of politics and industry, remained invisible to the general public. With great detail (some of it extraneous), Russo traces the amazing course of Korshak's life-from his childhood on Chicago's Jewish West Side to his role as a mouthpiece for the Windy City's Mafia leaders and, eventually, as a major league fixer who brokered labor truces and other deals for politicians and Hollywood moguls (Korshak died, aged 87, in 1996). The list of his clients and associates reads like a who's who of the last 50 years, including Ronald Reagan, MCA president Lew Wasserman, hotelier Conrad Hilton and cosmetics king Max Factor. Russo's extensive research is amply evident, and he has made use of recently disclosed records to paint a fuller picture than predecessors such as Seymout Hersh and Brian Ross were able to. His conclusions about Reagan-such as that he sold out the actor's union-in particular are likely to create controversy, although similar ones were drawn in Dan Moldea's Dark Victory 20 years ago. This worthy addition to the genre is marred only by some sensational claims concerning Reagan that lack adequate documentation. B&w photos. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There are two kinds of power: the visible and the invisible. Those who wield the latter, writes Russo (Live by the Sword, 1998, etc.), are scarier, more pervasive and harder to bust. Witness the "supermob," a term coined to describe the "brilliant, amoral" circle of mostly Ashkenazi, mostly poor friends who grew up in Chicago and settled in Beverly Hills. At the Chicago end stood the "Kosher Calcutta," a neighborhood that produced such figures as Paul Muni, Wallace Beery, William S. Paley and Jack Ruby. There Sid Korshak got his start, a young lawyer who allegedly advised Al Capone and helped forge an alliance that wedded big labor to big business to big crime to big pictures. Korshak, by Russo's account, soon had his hands in every criminal enterprise imaginable, and he cut quite a figure as a scene-making, wheeling-and-dealing attorney who exuded a decided air of danger. Hollywood fell hard for Korshak and the supermob, which used the regular mob to its own ends; MGM head Louis Mayer's best buddy reputedly was gangster Frank Orsatti, while Mafia money reputedly sponsored Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, even Gary Cooper. When Joe DiMaggio and Sinatra broke into the wrong apartment hoping to catch Monroe in a lesbian act, it was Korshak-"the Fixer"-who got them off the hook. When Jimmy Hoffa came to head the Teamsters Union, he "checked with Sidney on everything he did, and he still got in trouble." Ronald Reagan followed his advice as actor and as politician, while Richard Nixon benefited handsomely from his friendship with Korshak and his close ties to the Teamsters-not least for a Beverly Hills lot bought for $35,000, "far below the listed price of $104,250."It won't surprise any savvyreader to learn that politics, commerce and crime go hand in hand. Still, there are plenty of revelations in this absorbing, if overlong, book.
From the Publisher
"[A] magnum opus…Russo does a masterful job of establishing the ethnic and political foundations for Korshak's beginnings. The amount of research in the book is staggering. It's a testament to Russo's doggedness to bring the full story to light."—Chicago Sun-Times

"The book adds up to an exhaustive Who's Who of the dark power players of 20th century America."—New York Post

"Holding back from wild-eyed conspiracy theories, Russo documents unsettling connections between yesterday's underworld and a corporate oligarchy that has never been more ascendant than it is today, partly because it has adopted some of the same schemes with a still greater degree of sophistication."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Seymour Hersh, Nick Tosches and Brian Ross did early spadework, but no one has dug so deeply into 'The Fixer' as Gus Russo does."— New York Daily News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596918986
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/12/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 258,920
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.62 (d)
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Gus Russo
Gus Russo is the author of Supermob, The Outfit, and Live by the Sword. He has worked an investigative reporter for PBS's Frontline, ABC News Special Reports, and Dan Rather's CBS Reports, and as a consultant for programs such as 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II, and Eye to Eye with Connie Chung. He lives in Baltimore.
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Table of Contents

1 The lawyer from Lawndale 1
2 From Lawndale to the Seneca ... to the underworld 24
3 Birds of a feather 56
4 Kaddish for California 74
5 The future is in real estate 91
6 "Hell, that's what you had to do in those days to get by" 116
7 Scenes from Hollywood, part one 147
8 Jimmy, Bobby, and Sidney 162
9 Forty years in the desert 195
10 The kingmakers : Paul, Lew, and Ronnie in California 227
11 The new frontier 246
12 Bistro days 275
13 "He could never walk away from those people" 296
14 Scenes from Hollywood, part two 328
15 "A sunny place for shady people" 337
16 Coming under attack 360
17 From Hoffa to Hollywood 373
18 From Dutch sandwiches to Dutch Reagan 402
19 Airing dirty laundry and laundering dirty money 426
20 Pursued by the fourth estate 445
21 The true untouchables 473
22 Legacies 506
App. A Supermob investments
App. B Pritzker holdings
App. C Ziffren-Greenberg-Genis documents
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Customer Reviews

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