From Publishers Weekly
The romanticized view of the mob gets a reality check in this fascinating guide to the real Cosa Nostra from Pistone, who successfully infiltrated one of New York City's five families as an FBI undercover agent in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During his six years posing as Donnie Brasco, Pistone managed to gain the trust of countless mobsters and was almost formally made a member of the Mafia. That access led to numerous investigations and prosecutions resulting in more than 100 convictions, including those of the bosses who formed the mob's ruling body, the Commission. Pistone's first book, the bestselling Donnie Brasco
(later filmed with Johnny Depp in the lead role), presented a detailed chronological narrative of his infiltration. This time, he has organized his experiences into short chapters describing what the gangsters he worked with were really like, with titles such as "A Typical Day in the Life of a Wiseguy" and "How Wiseguys Take over a Business." He makes abundantly clear that the codes of honor depicted in popular culture and self-serving Mafiosi memoirs are myths, as is the notion that the old-timers steered clear of drug-dealing for moral reasons. The book also contains an amazing extra-a CD of an actual FBI surveillance tape in which thugs talk about the idea of doing in Donnie Brasco.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The name Joseph Pistone might not ring any bells, but that's because, while he was pretending to be a jewel thief called Donnie Brasco, anyone who found out he was Pistone would probably have had him killed. A former FBI agent, Pistone spent six years as Brasco, penetrating deep into the notorious Bonnano crime family, and his investigation led to the conviction of more than 100 criminals. These events are dramatized in the film Donnie Brasco
, but here Pistone goes behind the drama to get at the everyday details of life as a "wiseguy." Readers will learn how wiseguys prepare for a hit, how they treat their wives and girlfriends, why they don't make restaurant reservations, and what sort of table manners they have (not good ones). This down-and-dirty guide to a criminal subculture comes packaged with a CD that contains actual surveillance audio recorded during Pistone's investigation. Current interest in this subject, sparked by The Sopranos
, guarantees this book a wide and enthusiastic readership. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved