Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Washington Times Review of 'Mafia Spies: The Inside Story Of The CIA, Gangsters, JFK, And Castro'

The Washington Times published my review of Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangsters, JFK, and Castro.

Although mobster Johnny Roselli was murdered in 1976, his body discovered in a 55-gallon oil drum floating off Miami, Florida, this appears to be his year.

Lee Server wrote an interesting biography of the mobster, “Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Roselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin” (which I reviewed here). And now Roselli is also featured as one of the main historical characters, alongside fellow mobster Sam Giancana, President Kennedy, Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro, and Frank Sinatra and the other “Rat Pack” entertainers, in Thomas Maier’s “Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangsters, JFK, and Castro.”

Although during his lifetime he was well-known in organized crime, gambling and Hollywood movie-making circles, the notably handsome, well-dressed ladies’ man was not as well-known to the general public as many of the other gangsters he was associated with.

That books have been written about his life, as well as an upcoming film about him, has to do with his association with the CIA and the failed plot to kill Fidel Castro.

“The original 1960s Castro murder conspiracy remained a secret for fifteen years, until Congressional hearings in the mid-1970s revealed the spy agency’s basic plot. More spy details were released in the years to come,” Mr. Maier writes. “But the recently declassified files about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, released in batches by the National Archives in 2017-2018, were the biggest help for this book.”

…“Poison bills, exploding cigars, lethal James Bond-like gadgets, midnight boat raids from Florida with Cuban exiles carrying bombs and long-range rifles — a veritable army of undercover spies, double agents, and “cutout” handlers — were all part of this ill-fated campaign emanating from the White House.” Mr. Maier explains.

… I only wish that they had succeeded. 

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

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