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The Good Rat: A True Story (2008)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060856661, Hardcover)He was the first to put the mafia on the page exactly as they were - before "The Sopranos", before "The Godfather", there was Jimmy Breslin of the "New York Herald Tribune". As Breslin says, 'I hate legitimate people. They all proclaim immaculate honesty, but each day they commit the most serious of all felonies, being a bore. To whom do you care to listen, Warren Buffet, the second richest and most boring person on earth, or Burt Kaplan out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn?' Breslin can sniff out a story like he can sniff out a rat.Characters like the Honorable Jack Weinstein, the judicial heavyweight who snapped Vincent Gigante's insanity defense in two, Sammy the Bull, the original snitch, Gaspipe Casso, named for his weapon of choice; and hangouts like Pep McGuire's, the legendary watering hole where reporters and gangsters (all hailing from the same working class neighbourhoods) rubbed elbows and traded stories, the dog-fight circles and body dumps at Ozone Park, the back room at Midnight Rose's candy store where Murder, Inc. hired and fired.But best of all, Breslin captures the moments in which the Mafia was made and broken - Breslin was there the night John Gotti celebrated his acquittal at his Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry, having bribed his way to innocence, only to incite the wrath of the FBI, who would later crush Gotti and others with the full force of the RICO laws. Woven throughout Breslin's stories is the aforementioned 'Burt Kaplan out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn,' and star witness in the recent trial of the two New York City detectives indicted for acting as mob hit men in eight homicides. Kaplan was a former handler for the Luchese crime family who owed the law 18 years in the penitentiary, and, like all rats, he knew when to flee a sinking ship.
(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 24 Apr 2011 09:04:44 -0400)
A street-savvy journey behind the scenes of the Mafia during its golden era chronicles the people, places, and events that defined organized crime and traces the rise and fall of the mob in New York.
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