19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
fascinating novelistic account of life inside the Mob,
This review is from: Honor Thy Father (Mass Market Paperback)
QUESTION: What motivated you to let Gay Talese have your story?
Bill Bonanno: Gay Talese was a very insistent correspondent for The New York Times at the time. The New York Times, he told me, doesn't have reporters, they have correspondents. And he just didn't give up. He was very tenacious. He hounded me for about four or five months until I said OK, you can have the story, provided that we have an understanding: that you will get it a little bit at a time whenever I can. I couldn't very well tell him that at the time I was involved in a shooting war in New York.
One of the stupider criticisms, amidst many legitimate ones, of George W. Bush in this 2000 Presidential campaign is that he is merely following in his Dad's footsteps; as if this was unusual? John McCain went to the Naval Academy--his father and grandfather were admirals. Steve Forbes runs Forbes magazine--here's a shocker for you, he wasn't the founder. Al Gore was nicknamed Prince Albert because he was so patently aping his old man's career. (Bradley is the exception here, thanks to the freak gift of athletic ability). And, your intrepid correspondent, the fifth of six consecutive Orrin Judds, attended the alma mater of three of the four, went to law school like the third and, barring a strict prohibition from my wife, would even now be attending seminary like the first and fourth. This is what men do, we follow in our fathers footsteps. In Honor Thy Father, Gay Talese offers a fascinating real-life account of what happens when the family business turns out to be the Mafia.
Talese was still a beat writer for the New York Times in 1965 when he was sent to the federal courthouse in Manhattan to cover the arrest of Bill Bonanno, an intelligent, affable young mobster who had been wanted for questioning in the disappearance of his father, mob boss Joseph Bonanno. Talese, himself of Italian descent, had long wondered what life was like for real mafiosi. He approached Bill Bonanno, who was his own age and was college educated (though he never finished) and asked him if he would sit down for a series of interviews which would lead to a book on growing up the son of a Don. Over the next five years, while Bonanno dealt with the disappearance and reappearance of his father, fought his way through a mob war (the Banana War) and ended up going to prison for credit card fraud, Talese gained unprecedented access to Bonanno and family and friends. The result is this fascinating novelistic account of life inside the Mob, with a particular focus on how this bright, articulate, modern man was drawn into his father's brutal and backwards business.
It all makes for riveting reading.
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Initial post: Jun 4, 2014 2:30:48 PM PDT
Douglas B. Barr says:
criticism of Bush because of his father wasnt simply because he was a person whos father had been president, nor sir. It was because his father was seen as having been a loser, thats what. If Reagen had a son who had wanted to run, he wouldnt have been criticised because of his dad. Not only that, but knowing what we now know, the criticism of Bush jr was completely justified; he was even worse than his daddy
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