The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia
  • The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia
  • The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia

The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia

4.2 7
by Sal Polisi, Steve Dougherty
     
 

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The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America—too dangerous and too deadly to fail. Until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed, and the decline of its traditional crime Family values.

And by guys like Sal Polisi.

He was born in Brooklyn—the same place that spawned Murder, Inc., Al Capone, and John Gotti, the future Mob godfather

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Overview


The Mob was the biggest, richest business in America—too dangerous and too deadly to fail. Until it was destroyed from within by drugs, greed, and the decline of its traditional crime Family values.

And by guys like Sal Polisi.

He was born in Brooklyn—the same place that spawned Murder, Inc., Al Capone, and John Gotti, the future Mob godfather who became his friend. Polisi was raised on a family legacy that led him into the life he loved as a member of the Colombos, one of the New York Mob’s feared Five Families, and came of age when the Mafia was at the height of its vast wealth and power.

Known by his Mob name, Sally Ubatz (“Crazy Sally”), he ran an illegal after-hours gambling den, The Sinatra Club, that was a magic kingdom of crime and a hangout for up-and-coming mobsters like Gotti and the three wiseguys immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas—Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke, and Tommy DeSimone. For Polisi, the nonstop thrills of glory days spent robbing banks, hijacking trucks, pulling daring heists—and getting away with it all, thanks to cops and public servants corrupted by Mob money—were fleeting. When he was busted for drug trafficking, and already sickened by the bloodbath that engulfed the Mob as it teetered toward extinction, he flipped and became one of a breed he had loathed all his life—a rat.

In this riveting, pulse-pounding, and, at times, darkly hilarious first-person chronicle of his brazen crimes, wild sexual escapades, and personal tragedies, Polisi tells his story of life inside the New York Mob in a voice straight from the streets. With shocking candor, he draws on a hard-won knowledge of Mob history to paint a neverbefore- seen picture of the inner workings of the Mob and the larger-than-life characters who populated a once extensive and secret underworld that, thanks to guys like him, no longer exists.

***

I was always a street guy. I was into robbing and stealing and gambling and loan sharking. I wasn’t involved in the bigmoney sit-downs, the labor racketeering and construction company shakedowns, the Garment District and garbage and cement company kickbacks. . . . For guys like me and Fox, my blood brother and crime partner, the thing we loved about being in that life was the action, the excitement. . . .We were in it for the money, sure. But it was the danger, the thrills that made the life of crime something special.

A guy like John Gotti was different. He was far more ambitious than me and Fox. He wasn’t just in it for the rush and the riches. He wanted the power and the glory.

John Gotti’s tragedy, if you can call it that, was that he was born too late for the old-school gangster crown that he craved. He began his rise as the Mob was beginning to crumble; by the time he got to the top, the bottom had dropped out.

From the beginning, John was charismatic and smart. He just wasn’t cut out to be godfather. Once he became boss, he drove the bus right off the bridge. Or maybe it was the bus that drove him. Either way, I watched him go.

Here’s how it all happened.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Mafia memoirs are well-trod ground, but Polisi’s personal focus will engage readers….like Henry Hill, the famous subject of the genre classic Wiseguy, he has a sort of disreputably-likable quality about him. For fans of inside-organized-crime books, this one’s a definite must-read.”
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Polisi's early life was marred by abandonment, abuse, and loss. His greatest joy came from going to the racetrack with his Uncle Tony and listening to stories about famous gangsters-indeed, it was Uncle Tony who introduced him to the Colombo mob family. Polisi's connection to the notorious family would lead him to selling heroin, robbing banks, stealing trucks, and, in 1971, opening an illegal all-hours gambling den dubbed "The Sinatra Club." John Gotti would later become a partner in the business, as well as a friend of the author. Polisi provides fascinating details about some of his crimes as a member of the first "Three-Families hijack crew," which included Gotti's protégée, Ronald "Foxy" Jerothe, and Tommy "Two Guns" DeSimone, the man who inspired Joe Pesci's character in GoodFellas. He also details the murder of Joe Gallo, wars between families, and compelling evidence to suggest JFK's assassination was a mob hit. But in addition to an exhilarating trip though Italian-American mafia history, Polisi's text doubles as a heartfelt memoir, wherein he candidly expounds on the pain of neglecting his family and the devastating losses that eventually impelled him to leave "The Life" behind and testify against his former colleagues.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher
“Fascinating….In addition to an exhilarating trip though Italian-American Mafia history, Polisi's text doubles as a heartfelt memoir, wherein he candidly expounds on the pain of neglecting his family and the devastating losses that eventually impelled him to leave "The Life" behind and testify against his former colleagues.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brassy….Evocative….An audacious memoir unveiling the machinations of the mob.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Mafia memoirs are well-trod ground, but Polisi’s personal focus will engage readers….like Henry Hill, the famous subject of the genre classic Wiseguy, he has a sort of disreputably-likable quality about him. For fans of inside-organized-crime books, this one’s a definite must-read.”Booklist

Kirkus Reviews
A decade of turmoil in the life of a Mafia associate, back when the New York underworld ruled supreme. Polisi's brassy guided tour of his time as a member of the Colombo and Gambino crime families is consistently accented by burgeoning "professional" relationships with kingpins like John Gotti, who, when the pair met in 1972, was a swaggering, self-assured "gangster's gangster" thirsty for action. It was a pivotal year for the New York mob's five families, as The Godfather launched and the American Mafia ascended in both notoriety and affluence. By his early 20s, the Brooklyn-born Polisi was married and had two sons, as well as a lengthy rap sheet and the moniker of "Crazy Sal." Early on in the author's fearless chronicle, the mobster unabashedly concedes to being a "street guy," as he and young Gambino sidekick Foxy Jerothe became intoxicated by the thrill of robbing banks, orchestrating heists, loan-sharking, dodging bullets and gambling at the Colombo family base camp: the renowned Sinatra Club in Queens. Polisi also inserts frequently dark historical anecdotes and heady personal confessions of his unrepentant philandering on his doting wife Angela and a laundry list of illicit escapades from the '70s through the mid-'80s. In the evocative final chapters, Polisi details how he eventually flipped and became a protected witness in Gotti's criminal proceedings, a move that further contributed to the downfall and demise of the mob's "brotherhood of hoodlums." An audacious memoir unveiling the machinations of the mob.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451643169
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
02/25/2014
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
171,176
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

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