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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An epitaph for an honorable enemy
William F. Roemer, Jr., may have known Chicago mob boss Anthony Accardo better than anyone outside the Outfit. That's because Roemer spent much of his career as an FBI agent trying to put Accardo in prison. He never succeeded, but over the years he developed a grudging respect for the head of Chicago's organized crime family. And in this memoir of the mob during...
Published on August 13, 2000 by Mr Mondo

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Roemer Strikes Out
I find it amusing that every gangster biographer wants to elevate his subject to the level of being the most important figure ever in the history or organized crime. But one would expect a certain level of objectivity from a former FBI agent, even one who self-promoted himself for years as Chicago's number one Mob-buster. Roemer's admiration for adversary Tony "Joe...
Published on September 15, 2005 by Rick "Mad Dog" Mattix


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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend this seller., July 11, 2014
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Easy Transaction. Very professional. Thank you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok, February 22, 2014
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This review is from: Accardo: The Genuine Godfather (Mass Market Paperback)
Good book, but again, there are many fabricated conversations and events. Take the facts in this book with a grain of salt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars accardo, January 19, 2014
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I'm reading it as i write this summary and i'm enjoying it very much. very good use of informing in great detail the coming up of a very successfully lengthy leadership of a mafia boss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, informative, comprehensive, December 17, 2013
This review is from: Accardo: The Genuine Godfather (Mass Market Paperback)
I would recommend this book without hesitation to any Chicago native, Mob buff, law enforcement groupie, or history fan. Covering decades of true crime, tracing the steps of a kid born in a working-class neighborhood near Racine and Grand to heights of money and power that far eclipsed Capone. Always one step ahead of the Feds, yet he stood out in Mob circles by not cheating on his wife.

The man behind so many headline names, from Giancana to Spilotro; probable St Valentine's Day Massacre shooter, unbelievably savage torturer of bookie Action Jackson and a young Estelle Carey, yet called off a hit at Roemer's request on a witness who had been double-crossed by Federal prosecutors. An enigma among secretive men, yet approachable enough that I myself attended his last block party.

I classify very few books as a 'must-read'. This is one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dougl67, October 30, 2013
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This book is good source of how, and who operated in the Chicago Mob during the reign of Tony Accardo. William F. Roemer gives an eye witness account of in part of the life of Tony Accardo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to be a criminal and die of natural causes, October 27, 2013
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Purchased for a friend who enjoys yarns of this genre. Now wants other publications from this author. Wonder if this will make a tv documentary
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5.0 out of 5 stars service, October 21, 2013
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excellent service. book arrived on time and in perfect condition I was very happy to find this particular book

as I had met some of these "gentlemen" at wedding receptions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What an evil Man!!, May 22, 2013
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This review is from: Accardo: The Genuine Godfather (Mass Market Paperback)
This guy was a criminal genius!! He ran the entire Chicago Underground Outfit! He sat in on the national commission. He was like God of the underworld.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Baiting the Hook, April 9, 2012
This review is from: Accardo: The Genuine Godfather (Mass Market Paperback)
Anthony "Big Tuna" Accardo cast a massive shadow over 20th century business world of Chicago...and outward. Cutting his teeth in the years before Al Capone made the term "gangster" a household term, Accardo made his way up through the ranks of La Costa Nostra to the upper echelons, and to the leader of the underworld. But Accardo was no ordinary gangster, or for that matter, man. He was ruthless, yet had a human, decent side.

One of the elements of the HBO series "The Soprano's" that was so captivating was the contrast between the upper echelon, or bosses, and the henchmen. The henchmen were sociopaths, with almost no sense of honor, or right or wrong. The bosses walked often on the dark side of morality, but had a compass that could sometimes bring decency into the lives of those around them.

So it was with Anthony Accardo. He could brazenly order the murder of a bookie who refused to share their profits in full view of their families, yet, refused to sanction profits from drugs, because of the human toll he knew would result.

His web snaked all the way up the legal and political system, and his influence cut across state lines to Las Vegas and beyond. He ruled all the way into his 80's as the respected and firm handed consigliere to mob bosses.

Although his is a fascinating story, and his shrewdness could have made him a CEO had he chosen a straight line of work, it suffers from the writing of the author. Not to take a shot at the narrator. I am glad he wrote this story. He was an FBI operative for thirty years, with lion's share of the time involved in trying to ensnare Tony Accardo. But he is not a writer. His narrative jumps around, and his powers of description are limited.

But he is undoubtedly an expert in his field, and his experience is incredible. He knows his subject, and it is with grudging respect for the man and his leadership that he writes his story.

It is a worthy, and spellbinding subject. It is a recommended read for anyone who wants to learn about La Costa Nostra.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dry and somewhat vain, but still informative bio, January 16, 2012
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You have to be careful when reading books about the Mafia, especially when the author is a die hard FBI agent who, as other reviewers have noted, feels like the FBI can do no wrong. True, it may be one of the more pristine law enforcement agencies, but people are people and there are no doubt lots of untold stories of FBI bungling, mishandling and corruption that we don't hear about. You won't get that here, with the exception being Roemer's admitting that J. Edgar Hoover had no interest in fighting the mob. According to Roemer, Hoover knew about the existence of organized crime in the biggest American cities, especially after the start of Prohibition but felt that since their crimes weren't crossing state lines for the most part local agencies would be stuck fighting men like Capone.
I have also read in other books that Hoover was ignorant about the existence of the Mafia at all, and declared publicly there was no such organization. So we have to decide whether Roemer is telling the truth that Hoover didn't make public, or that he (Roemer) was wrong about Hoover's lack of involvement. Strike one.
However, the history of early 1900's Chicago and its rebirth after the fire of 1871 is probably quite accurate and interesting, despite Roemer's dry unimaginative writing style. Were it not for the colorful characters in mob history, like the crooked councilmen Bathouse John and Hinky Dink, as they were known, or Johnny Torrio, who came to Chicago to escape the heat of New York police after him for the suspected murders of two men, this book would be only slightly more exciting than reading the latest tax code.
Plus, Roemer, while he may have been a fine agent and a good guy, blah blah blah, comes across as very self congratulatory and outright vain when detailing his own exploits. That attitude clouds his judgment and probably results in some factual inaccuracies.
However, this is one of the few books if any that covers Tony Accardo's life in any significant detail and for that alone is worth the read. Roemer will argue that among the Mob's top men, Accardo reigned supreme, even overshadowing Luciano or Carlo Gambino. That, for my money, is quite a stretch, although there is no denying that Accardo was a very powerful boss, and undoubtedly the most respected and feared as far as Chicago was concerned. He was stylish, quiet and preferred to stay out of the limelight unlike other mob bosses who were obnoxious and blatant, which usually resulted in early retirement, mob style, like Sam Giancana or Albert Anastasia for example. Not that Mafia men are men to be admired but these gangsters replaced the old western outlaws in folklore history, along with '30's gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger, whose habits of committing robberies and murder across several state lines helped bring the attention of the FBI to all crime syndicates, something that did not sit well with the more organized Mafia, who regarded outlaws like Dillinger as careless oafs and not worth protecting.
"Accardo: The Genuine Godfather" despite its flaws, is worth the read for organized crime history buffs. Maybe one day a more objective and creative writer like Selwyn Raab, author of the excellent "Five Families", probably THE book on New York organized crime, will take a closer look at Accardo, but until then, this remains the most definitive.
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Accardo: The Genuine Godfather
Accardo: The Genuine Godfather by William F. Roemer (Mass Market Paperback - September 1, 1996)
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