From Publishers Weekly
During the 1920s the Gambinos, members of the New York Cosa Nostra "Five Families," which also included the Colombo, Bonanno, Lucchese and Genovese families, controlled many businesses in Gotham. Among their strongholds were private carting, garment industry trucking and construction. The mob also had a powerful pull in the meat and supermarket businesses, along with the customary enterprises of loansharking, extortion and pornography. Additionally, the dons, having forbidden trafficking in drugs to subordinates, could not resist the vast profits and became involved themselves. Mafia founding fathers Vincent and Philip Mangano were succeeded by Albert Anastasia, who was murdered in 1957. The most effective leader, shows Davis, was Carlo Gambino, who emerged supreme in 1970, reigned for 19 years and was succeeded by his cousin Paul Castellano until he was killed at the behest of John Gotti, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Davis ( Mafia Kingfish ) explores the history of the Cosa Nostra from its roots in Italy and brilliantly depicts the violent, vicious, vulgar brotherhood. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
One of New York City's five Mafia families, the Gambinos have been variously bossed by Albert Anastasia, Carlo Gambino, Paul Castellano, and--until his recent conviction (life imprisonment without parole)--most infamously by the flamboyant John Gotti. The author believes, perhaps prematurely, that the government's court victories have spelled the Mafia's doom. Davis, whose most recent work was Mafia Kingfish ( LJ 12/88), is most successful in chapters on Gotti and his final trial. Less inspired, though adequate, is the historical material, which has all been done before. In addition to John Cummings and Ernest Volkman's Goombata ( LJ 4/15/90) and Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci's Mob Star (Watts, 1988), we can expect more books about Gotti; until then, this latest account is suitable for organized crime collections.- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.