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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 History has often avoided or ignored the Mafia's involvement in Cuba, forgetting that many of the activities there superceded or coincided with the development of Las Vegas.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 was in Cuba last year. I wish I had read this book before. Amazing history missing from my schoolingPublished 16 days ago by marina
Fascinating and very well written. This account reads like a historical novel instead of a work of nonfiction. I got a great Mob education. Highly recommended.Published 19 days ago by Boyd F. Campbell
A colorful read filled with fascinating characters and scandalous accounts of the inner workings of the American mob in Cuba. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very detailed historical period during the tumultuous time in Cuba as the mob tried to run Cuba, only to be thrown out as Castro took over. Read morePublished 21 days ago by glenn palsky
This is a book that pulls together all the missing pieces from the history of Cuba taught in US schools. Read morePublished 22 days ago by M Polo
I really enjoyed it and found it to by historically accurate ( it seemed that way)Published 25 days ago by JEdwards
A good history of an era in Cuba and America. Sad to say, seems our government backed any ruinous regime that allowed us to rape the country of its wealth. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Katherine L. Triboli
Interesting way to find out about the mob in Cuba and the connection to the Revolution. I have traveled several places in Cuba and the book seems to be pretty close to accurate to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beviejane