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Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution Paperback – June 9, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike other books that often rehash well-known facts about criminals and their actions, Havana Nocturne is an entertaining review of the historical activities of the Mob in Cuba from the mid-1940s until the Castro revolution takeover in 1959. History has often avoided or ignored the Mafia's involvement in Cuba, forgetting that many of the activities there superceded or coincided with the development of Las Vegas.
Rather than a presentation of repetitive facts, however, this book does an excellent job of condensing the political events of the time while also explaining the decades-old Mob interest in Cuba.
Readers will find the story reading like a fantasy as they discover interesting facts surrounding the activities of Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy and the bawdy nightlife of the Caribbean.
For those interested in understanding why the US has avoided involvement in Cuba for 50 years, how Batista ruled Cuba and Castro took control, and how the Mafia nearly rose to power internationally, I strongly recommend this book.
Author T.J. English did a wonderful job of researching the happenings in Cuba in his non-fiction winner, "Havana Nocturne." I relish well- researched histories and with about 330 end notes, some 25 insider interviews, and 11 pages listing the books, articles, essays, transcripts, reports, documentaries, television programs, institutions, and FBI files that English relied on for his information, this book certainly qualifies.
Usually that much research material produces a book with the trudging characteristics of a Russian epic that takes several years to read, but not Havana Nocturne. English has deftly woven the information into a tight record of a couple of decades of activity, and produced an entertaining account of what the Mob and the Cuban government was involved in, all the while naming those who participated in some highly nefarious schemes. All the familiar big-city Mafiosi characters are here, along with the hangers-on from Hollywood, Tampa, Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas-- those who loved the glamour and excitement of a glittering Havana especially prepared to lure them in.
Famous Americans such as John F.Read more ›
In the eleven years following World War II "direct U.S. business investments in Cuba grew from $142 million to $952 million." (In today's dollars that would be 5-10 times more.) The extent of American interest in Cuba, an island the size of the state of Tennessee, ranked in third place among the nations of the world receiving U.S. investments." The Havana mob which was comprised of American Mafia and their associates, included such historical underworld figures as Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Santo Trafficante, Albert Anastasia, and others. The author skillfully takes you back to Lucky and Meyer's childhood where they grew up together and forged a lifetime friendship and business relationship that eventually led to Meyer Lansky a Jew to be the actual de-facto leader of the mob's dream expansion into Cuba. In case the potential reader isn't aware of the fact; no person can become an official "made-man" unless he's one-hundred-percent Italian. The reader is adroitly taken back through Meyer's entire life, from his growing up tough, despite never rising past 5-feet-4-inches in height as an adult. His absolute love of gambling... but not needing to gamble... is what eventually made him the Mafia's architect in Las Vegas and Cuba.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had no previous knowledge of the American mob's control of Cuba and how their leadership eventually inspired Castros revolutionPublished 1 day ago by Ruth Sack
Excellent book. Well written. My city, how beautiful it was, just sincerely wish that it would go back to its glorious days!!Published 24 days ago by American Express
Fascinating, reads like a crime novel but much better as it is real. Well-researched and very well-written, a real page-turner.Published 24 days ago by John D. Harding
too redundant especially about the mob in the 50s in Havana but fascinatingPublished 27 days ago by jan lipschutz
Fascinating history. Not a great narrative, but still a damn good read.Published 1 month ago by Dave E.
This book was well researched yet lost me with the minute detail about dozens of Mafia and other shady soulsPublished 1 month ago by Wayne Hill
This is a very entertaining book. If you want to read a good mob story and get a crash course in Cuban history at the same time, this is a great book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer