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Showing 1-10 of 39 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 67 reviews
on March 17, 2015
Gus Russo's Supermob is a meticulously researched, well-crafted piece of non-fiction that fascinatingly binds together history, politics, show business, and modern business banking schemes with the Outfit, the Chicago mob that drew indelible images on American culture as we know it.

Russo centers his book around Sidney Korhsak, the "Fixer," the man who could settle any dispute because you didn't want to become indebted to those he represented. Korshak, known by absolutely anyone of note in Hollywood, Las Vegas, Chicago and Washington, D.C., was the primary union boss—for all intents and purposes—for every union there was, as all were controlled by the Mob in mid-twentieth century America. Korshak was also the life-long best friend of MCA head Lew Wasserman, the last mogul, the man who virtually ran show business. And Wasserman was a life-long friend of Ronald Reagan. (Enough said.) Las Vegas, started by the Chicago Outfit, was basically two things to the mob: unions and the illegal skim from the casinos. Korshak oversaw it all.

Korshak was probably the shrewdest man who ever lived. He knew how to get things done in his world, but he was also smart enough to know that his life would go a lot smoother if he kept in the background, as anonymous as he could make himself. A lawyer who never kept notes who was on the phone if not having a meeting with someone. Even Hollywood protected him. When at a party, if someone innocently took a picture that contained even part of him in the background, that person would be met with a chorus of "You can't take a picture of Sidney"s. There was not a star of any note who didn't know him. Those who didn't, certainly knew of him.

Korshak's wide frame of reference also made him virtually untouchable to Federal authorities. All inquiries into his business dealings by government agencies were spiked when reviewed in Washington. How do you go after someone who knows where all the bodies are buried, both literally and figuratively?

Russo's investigative research here is extremely deep. There are so many players involved it's hard to keep them straight. To me, more pictures would have helped. And this book is not running some kind of anti-Jewish bias as some—like The New York Times—have contended. Such claims are ridiculous. Reviews like that go in with their own agenda, written before the book is even read. Russo presents the facts as he finds them, giving no group any kind of pass or blame that begins or ends with their ethnicity.

It's a competitive world. And these people banded together to increase their odds of success in it. But as Balzac said—and Russo quotes—"Behind every great fortune is a crime." Gus Russo's Supermob is full of them: great fortunes and great crimes.
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on December 16, 2013
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This is one of the few books that I have read twice. I read it a few years back in hardback and could not get it out of my mind. I bought it on Kindle, and reread it carefully, and it reads like a novel, and it is not. The power of the Supermob and it's affect on our country and our system of government is unbelievable, and how they fix everything they want the way they want, all the way up to selecting and electing the President of the US. Sidney Korshak and his co-harts really do run the country, and take large sums of money illegally, and give back less large sums to charity, and are held forth as philanthropists, when in essence they steal and con and give some back, and even Attorney General Kennedy would not touch them, as they were in ways connected to his father, and they were useful in supplying 'entertainment' for Bobby and Jack Kennedy. Wow, what a group, and the book can only be bought used, and the asking price is 198.00. We have Chicago, General Dynamics, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and worlds of continuing corruption, thanks to Supermob, and they are smooth, and very talented. They do control the country. An unbelievable read, and not fiction. Fear not the mafia, fear the Supermob.
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on February 6, 2014
This was a well researched,in depth, complete facts book.I cannot imagine the hours spent just in the research to this book.I would have given this 5 stars but the lack of editing was atrocious.When I pay over 9 bucks for a book that I do not even own I expect to not have to decipher.Very disappointed in that respect.
But that does not take away from the outstanding piece of work that Gus Russo put out.I hesitated in getting this book because I figured it would be a rehash of things made public.I was not even sure I knew who Sidney Korshak was.I do certainly know now.And it was also fact filled on things I did not know of others either.Now I know why and how certain people made their careers and money.
Even with the poor job by Amazon's people it did not take away that this is a great book.
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on November 26, 2013
Great read; every Chicagoan should pick this book up. Gus Russo's highly-researched and well-written tome on how the Mob works and imbedded in politics, business and the entertainment industry is eye-opening. At the center of it, Sidney Korshak became the nation's most powerful man. He was to the Chicago Outfit what Meyer Lansky was to the New York Mafia. Terrific book!
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on August 9, 2015
Wow. I could not put this book down. The writing is first-rate, the research fantastic. I love all the history involving Chicago since I live there. Korshak and so many of his pals lived in The Seneca Hotel and I swear you can still feel the energy from the time that element hung out there. (I have a relative who currently lives in the building.) Unbelievable the power Korshak had. I was so naïve when I was young. I had no idea how the City of Chicago "worked" or how powerful the mob was or how deeply entrenched they were in the corridors of power. Absolutely fascinating book.
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on September 7, 2017
This book tells the story of how mob money infiltrates all levels of legit business and govt. All that prohibition booze money had to go somewhere. Written by an excellent well regarded writer.
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on November 7, 2014
Amazing revelations. I've been in the movie business for more than 50 years. And never realized that many of the people I've worked with and for were actually 'connected' not to mention major politicians. An eye opener
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on May 22, 2014
Fascinating look at the influence the Chicago mob and it's point man Sidney Korshak had on the hotel industry, movies and politics at the highest level.
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on March 12, 2016
Highly exciting and a great read, particularly as I lived in Chicago in the 1950's and knew of them and their "then current" legit businesses. Actually knew some of the children and grandchildren of the Supermob but not of their families nefarious origins.
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on August 15, 2013
This is a very well researched and presented work on the people who fronted for the Mafia--particularly the Chicago Outfit. It's an amazing look at the control and money the 'smart mobsters', the Jews, accumulated while still paying taxes, not indulging in violence, and living a 'respectable' life. A good book.
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