The Real and the Fake Gangster
By Tim Newark
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312601829, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
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For the first twenty-five years of his criminal career, Charles “Lucky” Luciano was a vicious mobster who rose to become the multimillionaire king of the New York underworld. For the next twenty-five years of his life, Luciano was a legend---but a fake master criminal without real power, his evil reputation manipulated and maintained by the government agents who had put him behind bars.
Drawing on secret government documents from archives in the United States and Europe, this myth-busting biography tells the real story from Luciano’s early days as a top hit man for the Mob to his exploits running sex and narcotics empires. His criminal career abruptly ended with conviction and imprisonment, but his reputation was only enhanced by rumors that he was winning World War II for the Allies in Sicily and the Mediterranean. Now, for the first time, author Tim Newark exposes the truth about what Luciano really did do to help the Allies in the war.
With his expulsion from the United States after the war ended, Luciano returned to Italy. He was reputed to have overseen a massive transatlantic narcotics network and became the arch-villain for international law enforcement agencies. But Newark reveals how Luciano really spent his twilight years.
Lucky Luciano: The Real and the Fake Gangster turns accepted Mafia history on its head with an extraordinary story that has never been told before.
TIM NEWARK is the author of Mafia Allies and the editor of Military Illustrated, and he has contributed book reviews to the Financial Times, Time Out, and the Daily Telegraph. He has worked as a scriptwriter and consultant for seven TV documentary series for the History Channel and BBC Worldwide. He lives in London.
Learn more at www.timnewark.com.
Advance Praise for Lucky Luciano
“Great detective work here. Tim Newark has uncovered fascinating new angles on the Lucky Luciano story and tells it well.”---John Dickie, author of Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia
“Tim Newark’s beautifully written and thoroughly researched studies offer new information and penetrating insights on hitherto little-known chapters in the history of American organized crime.”---Robert Rockaway, author of But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters
"This interesting book separates the truth about Luciano from the stories and movies about his life."--The Oklahoman
Praise for Mafia Allies
“The victory of Mafia Allies is the depth the author brings to the subject.”---New York Post
“Mafia Allies follows the fortunes of the Italian and American Cosa Nostra during the Second World War and brilliantly explodes a large number of myths in the process.”---Daily Telegraph (UK)