THE PRINCE OF PROVIDENCE: The True Story of Buddy Cianci, America's Most Notorious Mayor, Some Wiseguys, and the Feds

Mike Stanton, Author . Random $24.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-375-50780-9

More than just a biography of Providence's first Italian-American mayor, once considered one of America's most vibrant young politicians, this exposé also captures Rhode Island's and Providence's turbulent political histories and their direct effect on Buddy Cianci, one of America's most successful and most notorious politicians. Rhode Island, a haven for outcasts and freethinkers, earned the "colonial reputation as 'Rogue's Isle,' a city of hustlers, gamblers and ward-heelers" that continued to be warranted well into the 1980s thanks to Providence being a home base of the American Mafia, an Irish-American Democratic political machine and a cast of dirty politicians. Presenting the complex civic and political environment in which Cianci rose to power, Stanton is able to showcase the mayor as both a product of his city as well as a new breed of Rhode Island politician. Stanton, using his skill as an investigative newspaper journalist, dissects every aspect of the mayor's upbringing, education, public and private lives. Outlining Cianci's virtues and vices—easygoing charmer and accused rapist, anticorruption candidate and king of the kickback, city revitalizer and public funds abuser—produces a colorful, nuanced portrait of the mayor. More than just the story of one politician's success and transgressions, Stanton's in-depth examination of Cianci is representative of the American political system as a whole, which at its best passionately serves the greater good and at its worst serves the whims and wants of a select few. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 328 pages - 978-1-58836-292-6
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