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American Desperado: My Life--From Mafia…

American Desperado: My Life--From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to…

by Jon Roberts, Evan Wright (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This book took a while for me to start enjoying. Some of the brutality in the early part of the book really put me off. But over time I got used to it and found myself really enjoying the rest of the story. The co-author does a great job of focusing on the story while adding in thoughts and observations he had while writing the book. Roberts is a great story teller with a good narrative even if he does frequently use the term "bro".

Don't be put off by the size, I tore through this in a few days and is worth the investment. ( )
  pbirch01 | Jan 2, 2013 |
American Desperado is an extremely well written account of the life of a major cocaine importer. Evan Wright tells Jon Roberts story from his days as a minor organized crime figure in New York to becoming a hardened killer in Vietnam and finally a smuggler known to authorities for years only as “the bearded gringo.”

Roberts is clear about his brutality and seldom shows remorse. Unintended humor sometimes creeps into his recollections. About one notorious Colombian smuggler:
“Carlos Lehder hero-worshipped Hitler. He talked about this openly.
I don’t care who you are, if you talk about how you want to make a Nazi state in South America and become the new Hitler, people will lose confidence in you.”
Describing another acquaintance:
“Joe was a professional killer. He was also a dog breeder and a really good guy.” In his world you could be both a killer and good.

Roberts fascinating story fills in a lot about how the Colombian cartels moved massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S. in the 1980s and beyond. ( )
  Hagelstein | Dec 4, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jon Robertsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, EvanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Zucca, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Noemi and Julian
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Aril 2008 Miami

Evan Wright[E.W.]: During a break in the Heat versus Pistons game at Miami's American Airlines Arena, an announcer informs the crowd that a "very special celebrity" is in the house. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have Jon Roberts, Miami's original cocaine cowboy, with us tonight."
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A mafia insider and former head smuggler for the Medellin cartel describes his violent relationships with criminal powers, his alliance with the U.S. government, and his role in reshaping the nation's war on drugs.

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