- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (August 5, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375507809
- ISBN-13: 978-0375507809
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,137,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Prince of Providence: The True Story of Buddy Cianci, America's Most Notorious Mayor, Some Wiseguys, and the Feds First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
More than just a biography of Providence's first Italian-American mayor, once considered one of America's most vibrant young politicians, this expos also captures Rhode Island's and Providence's turbulent political histories and their direct effect on Buddy Cianci, one of America's most successful and most notorious politicians. Rhode Island, a haven for outcasts and freethinkers, earned the "colonial reputation as `Rogue's Isle,' a city of hustlers, gamblers and ward-heelers" that continued to be warranted well into the 1980s thanks to Providence being a home base of the American Mafia, an Irish-American Democratic political machine and a cast of dirty politicians. Presenting the complex civic and political environment in which Cianci rose to power, Stanton is able to showcase the mayor as both a product of his city as well as a new breed of Rhode Island politician. Stanton, using his skill as an investigative newspaper journalist, dissects every aspect of the mayor's upbringing, education, public and private lives. Outlining Cianci's virtues and vices-easygoing charmer and accused rapist, anticorruption candidate and king of the kickback, city revitalizer and public funds abuser-produces a colorful, nuanced portrait of the mayor. More than just the story of one politician's success and transgressions, Stanton's in-depth examination of Cianci is representative of the American political system as a whole, which at its best passionately serves the greater good and at its worst serves the whims and wants of a select few.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Journalist Stanton's dissection of Providence, Rhode Island, has a general resonance for urban affairs. That his vehicle is a flawed, flamboyant mayor makes it a colorful story in its own right, in which a good-government politician degenerates into graft with interludes in talk radio and, currently, jail. Vincent Cianci, known as "Buddy" around town, reveled in mayoral power, rewarding and punishing and positioning Providence as a city for concertgoers and tourists. Over time, the construction and rehabbing prompted complaints of corruption, and Stanton, an observer of Buddy from the offices of the Providence Journal, here checks out the allegations in the course of reviewing Buddy's career from the early 1970s onward. Stanton unpacks the ethnic fiefs of Providence that background Buddy's trajectory: an Italian Republican in a heavily Irish and Democratic city, Cianci was a high-wire act with big appetites and resentments to match. A marvelous case study of the adage that all politics is local, Stanton spotlights the machinations and palm-greasing that the phrase implies. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
To top it all off the title is misleading. This isn't Buddy's story, it's the story of corruption in Providence over decades some of which Buddy played a part. No detail is overlooked, unfortunately.
Nevertheless Providence Rhode Island is quite a town. It's like housewives of where ever if all the skanky behavior was coming from super educated rich white men. The mayor was like the crazy queen bee. This would've been brilliant tv if it wasn't elected public office. *sigh*
The author concentrates on Vincent "Buddy" Cianci and his coterie of Providence lowlifes. He barely mentions that the whole state is for sale, not just Providence. He gives a linear biography of the Mayor, then gets lost in details about the lower-level goings on that fed the mayor's purse and extravagant life style.
The book reads to me like a collection of chapters that may have been published elsewhere singly, then knitted together, but with the seams showing. He repeats information in separate chapters. He re-explains. He writes paragraphs with no point. He seems wistful that, with Buddy in the jug, the "Providence Renaissance" will lose its heart and falter.
He could have won some applause from me if he had told more of the part the Providence Journal plays in providing what little integrity exists in Rhode Island. That old-line Yankee WASP paper (at least until recently) is responsible for every exposure of corruption and drive for clean government in the state.
In spite of his authorly flaws, his information is bang on, and he sticks with it relentlessly until the poignant Runyanesque end, when he makes us sorry to see this alleged sociopath go off to receive his slap on the wrist in a Federal prison.
I'd still recommend the book. It's worth wading through.
Buddy Cianci made Providence the city it is today, and he should be proud. But his tragedy lies in the fact that had he made a few decisions differently, he could have potentially been the first Italian-American president. He was a man who made decisions, but those decisions also defined the man.
THE TIME BUT EVERYONE KNEW OF BUDDY CIANCI!! The book was well written and I commend the author
for the tremendous amount of work he had to have done to gather all the information. Everyone who has ever
known about R.I. needs to read this book! I couldn't put it down ------WELL DONE