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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In the bestselling tradition of Wiseguy comes a mobster’s behind-the-scenes look at how drugs and greed and the decline of traditional family values brought down an American institution—the New York Mafia.

Told in his own words, The Sinatra Club recounts Sal Polisi’s life of crime in riveting detail during the last great

Overview

In the bestselling tradition of Wiseguy comes a mobster’s behind-the-scenes look at how drugs and greed and the decline of traditional family values brought down an American institution—the New York Mafia.

Told in his own words, The Sinatra Club recounts Sal Polisi’s life of crime in riveting detail during the last great glory years of the New York Mob, before that notorious American institution was destroyed from within by drugs and greed. It is a fascinating story that begins when the Five Families were at the height of their power and ends with their demise, tracing the downfall of the Mob through Polisi’s firsthand experiences.

Polisi’s life as a mobster consisted of robbing banks, hijacking trucks, pulling heists, running gambling and loan shark operations—and years of nonstop thrills and excitement. Then Polisi moved into a second, secret career as a distributor of heroin and cocaine, a desperate and dangerous business in which he risked life in prison if caught by the law and certain death if discovered by his brothers in crime. Finally, a bloody arc of death and betrayal plays out in the last part of the story, as Polisi’s double life finally catches up with him and he becomes a federal informant. Wearing a wire proved to be as dangerous—and almost as thrilling—as the life he lived outside the law. And because he gave evidence and testimony against old friends and colleagues, including two mob bosses, a courthouse full of corrupt judges and lawyers, and a gang of drug dealers, arms smugglers, and bomb makers, Polisi lives under a death sentence to this day.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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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.
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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451642872
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
07/24/2012
Pages:
386
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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Meet the Author

Sal Polisi is a former member of the Mafia, and he currently lives in Los Angeles. Steve Dougherty is a freelance journalist and writer who lives in New York City and Los Angeles. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, the Associated Press, and People magazine.

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The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a fluke at the library. It was one of the best reads Ive had in a long time. Very well written and provided what life within the mob was really like. I loved it !!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard Sal talking about his book on Coast to Coast and I thought I would try it out. I was enthralled with his stories. I could not stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book, eventhough there's parts where the "I was just a by-stander" sneaks in there...but that's expected. The Badda-Bing sex is also suspect, but who cares...somehow I think the whole truth was more violent and deadly. If this isn't made into a smash hit movie, Hollywood should be wacked.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of many Mafia books, with that inside look.