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Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of…
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Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled… (original 1992; edition 1992)

by Bettina Giancana

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215498,345 (3.29)None
New York Times Bestseller! "Sam Giancana tells all . . . Controversial . . . ties seven United States presidents to the mob."--Larry King, CNN One of the most feared Chicago mobsters Sam Giancana clawed his way to the top of the Mafia hierarchy by starting as a hit man for Al Capone. He was known as one of the best vehicle escape artists, a tenacious business man, and a ruthless killer. He partied with major stars such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe and did business with agents ranging from the CIA to the Vatican to the shah of Iran. When politician Joe Kennedy gave Giancana the chance to use mob muscle to get his son John elected, Giancana jumped at the task. But the Kennedy brothers double-crossed him, waging full-out war on organized crime throughout the United States. And Giancana went after them. Written with suspense and conviction, we learn about how the CIA asked Giancana to assassinate Fidel Castro The book includes Giancana's testimony about the truth of his involvement in the deaths of Monroe and others, among others. Chuck Giancana, Sam's brother, contributes a unique perspective of the mob's relationship with the Bay of Pigs and many other pivotal events of the 60's and beyond. Double Cross is an eye-opening account of the interworking of the government and the mob and how this relationship has impacted American history. "Mobster chief Sam Giancana was at the heart of one of America's most notorious criminal conspiracies and this book gives us fresh information on that. His web of crimes and associations involve some of the most glamorous figures of his age, including the Kennedy family, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Written with the crisp cadence of a thriller, it is a fascinating expose of dark deals and adds more layers to that most famous mystery--who really killed President John Kennedy?"--Tim Newark from his Foreword… (more)
Member:gregorymcadam
Title:Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America
Authors:Bettina Giancana
Info:Warner Books (1992), Hardcover, 366 pages
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Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America by Sam Giancana (1992)

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A relatively slim book about the sexes and their differences and similarities, with possible explanations in physiology, genetics and evolution, and social conditioning. The book makes the point that there are incontrovertibly differences on the aggregate between males and females, but it is usually not clear how much is due to social factors and expectations, rather than physiology and genetics (the nurture-nature controversy). I think there are other, more recent and detailed accounts of this question out there. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | Apr 6, 2021 |
This book is a biography of Momo “Sam” Giancana, the head of the Chicago Outfit who succeeded Al Capone in the forties and stayed the head of not only Chicago but almost every other organized crime syndicate outside of New York until his assassination in the 1970's.

There was a lot to like about this book and a lot to think about. First of all, it is very much an insider's opinion of Sam, known to his family as Mooney and referred to as Mooney throughout the book. It outlines his rise from the street gangs on Taylor Street in the South Side of Chicago, all the way through his involvement in international organized crime, with a particular, but not exclusive, interest in Latin America.

Chuck Giancana is Sam's younger brother. He is 11 or 12 years younger and looked upon Sam as not only an older brother but also as a mentor and father figure. Through his eyes, we are able to see that Sam exerted control over his own family, including his father; his neighborhood; the gangs and through his intelligence and ruthlessness, the Chicago Outfit.

The book does an excellent job of explaining the intricate inter-relationships between the Chicago players as well as the different cities. These include the traditional members of the New York five families, Joe Kennedy and the Boston Irish mob, Santo Trafficante in Tampa Florida, Carlo Marcello in New Orleans, the establishment of the syndicate players in Dallas and Kansas City, Bugsy Siegel In Las Vegas and Johhny Roselli in Los Angeles.

Of all the “mafia” books I have read, this one really shows the way each player came into their position of power post prohibition. It definitely concurs with much I have already read and explained much better other things that have been alluded to in other biographies. Given that it's an insiders look, it spells some things out with much greater clarity.

As with all insider books, one must always read with an open mind and consider whose interests a story serves. Never the less, for those wanting to at least explore a detailed (and quite frankly logical) explanation of how the mob played a part in the Kennedy assassination (if one subscribes to that theory) then this book provides one of the best and most comprehensive ones that I have ever read.

It shows the relationships, the favors done, the deals made in the interests of both legitimate and illegitimate business, the plays for both power – both overt and covert- that were part of wider picture. More importantly, it shows that the players and the game involved were a very long time in the making and it shows Joe Kennedy's role as he tried to make the move from mobster to legitimate business and how it all came back to bite him.

If you have illusions that you wish to keep about John and Robert Kennedy, then perhaps you might choose not to read Sam Giancana's version of events or description of the Kennedy brothers. While there is nothing new or even that shocking, it certainly paints the Kennedy brothers in a different light that brings them back down to the realms of men.

Whether Sam's version of events is true or not, it certainly gives the reader plenty to think about with respect to how legitimate business and politics is influenced, informed, assisted and abetted by organized crime. And while there are certainly reasons to ignore what Sam says because of who he is, there are also reasons to believe it and to understand why great lengths were exercised to discredit him and ultimately, assassinate him.

An equally interesting and parallel story is Chuck's. Being the brother (or daughter, nephew, wife or in-law) of someone like Sam Giancana comes with its own set of challenges. At times, Chuck comes to love and enjoy the life Sam provided him as “gangster by association” and confidante, it also hindered him in his own legitimate business interests and the taunting and bullying his own children suffered from having the last name Giancana as well as one son being Sam's namesake.

Whatever your personal beliefs, the book is a great insight into the Chicago mob between the late 30's and the early to mid 70's. Thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking and a must have for those interested in all things mob related. ( )
  ozzieslim | Feb 15, 2016 |
I read this back in the day when I was into conspiracy theories and the Kennedy assisination. It is so amazing that this actually happened. The references to Kennedy's father being a bootlegger and his connections to the mafia make you really wonder why was Kennedy so passionate about cracking down on organized crime.
  KristenZ | May 7, 2008 |
Amazing story and tremendous detail. While I don't know if I believe everything in the book (that Sam Giancana was responsible for the assasination of Kennedy) it certainly provokes some interesting thought. A great read ( )
  tetchechury | Apr 3, 2007 |
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De macht van de Mafia
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Tot 1969 zat ons gezin gevangen in de nalatenschap van Chicago Mobbaas Sam Giancana. Op dat moment dachten we dat we, door onze achternaam te veranderen, zouden kunnen ontsnappen aan het stigma dat veroorzaakt werd door het feit dat we familie waren van een berucht "gangster". Helaas raakten we met onze naam ook onze rijke, Italiaanse erfenis kwijt, om over onze vrienden en familieleden nog maar te zwijgen. Het masker waarachter we ons verstopten en waarmee we in feite ons bestaan ontkenden, verschafte ons bovendien slechts een illusie van normaalheid. Het was een illusie die alleen wij konden verdrijven. Dit boek is opgedragen aan de persoon die ons aantoonde dat we, alleen door het masker te verwijderen, kunnen hopen onszelf echt te zien.
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New York Times Bestseller! "Sam Giancana tells all . . . Controversial . . . ties seven United States presidents to the mob."--Larry King, CNN One of the most feared Chicago mobsters Sam Giancana clawed his way to the top of the Mafia hierarchy by starting as a hit man for Al Capone. He was known as one of the best vehicle escape artists, a tenacious business man, and a ruthless killer. He partied with major stars such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe and did business with agents ranging from the CIA to the Vatican to the shah of Iran. When politician Joe Kennedy gave Giancana the chance to use mob muscle to get his son John elected, Giancana jumped at the task. But the Kennedy brothers double-crossed him, waging full-out war on organized crime throughout the United States. And Giancana went after them. Written with suspense and conviction, we learn about how the CIA asked Giancana to assassinate Fidel Castro The book includes Giancana's testimony about the truth of his involvement in the deaths of Monroe and others, among others. Chuck Giancana, Sam's brother, contributes a unique perspective of the mob's relationship with the Bay of Pigs and many other pivotal events of the 60's and beyond. Double Cross is an eye-opening account of the interworking of the government and the mob and how this relationship has impacted American history. "Mobster chief Sam Giancana was at the heart of one of America's most notorious criminal conspiracies and this book gives us fresh information on that. His web of crimes and associations involve some of the most glamorous figures of his age, including the Kennedy family, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Written with the crisp cadence of a thriller, it is a fascinating expose of dark deals and adds more layers to that most famous mystery--who really killed President John Kennedy?"--Tim Newark from his Foreword

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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446516244, 0446364126

Skyhorse Publishing

4 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Editions: 1602397783, 1626361258, 1626361266, 1510711244

 

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