Mafia Summit: J. Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy Brothers, and the Meeting That Unmasked the Mob

Gil Reavill, Author
Gil Reavill. St. Martin's/Dunne, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-65775-8
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 01/22/2013
The Apalachin summit, in 1957, one of many fabled mob meetings, is the subject of Reavill's new book (after 2007's Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home), which details its importance to the legacy of organized crime and to federal law enforcement's increased interest in emerging gangland targets. With a close look at key Cosa Nostra figures and their iron grip on vice, gambling, and drugs, Reavill establishes the two top contenders for the mob throne, Vito Genovese and Albert Anastasia, as ruthless bosses seeking weakness in each other and opportunities to expand their territories. An unlikely hero in the book is Sgt. Edgar D. Croswell, whose surveillance into the shady confab put the FBI and Washington on notice that the Mafia not only existed—contrary to Hoover's claim—but was an effective, viable underworld organization with numerous active business ventures. Another obstacle to the mob's ascendancy is Robert F. Kennedy (attorney general during his brother's presidency), a driven politician unafraid to tangle with Hoover in order to quash Mafia interests. A close investigation into the crime bosses' upstate New York summit and its grisly aftermath, Reavill's book accurately recreates one of the golden eras of American organized crime. Agent: Paul Bresnick, Paul Bresnick Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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