Tin for Sale: My Career in Organized Crime and the NYPD

John Manca, Author, Vincent Cosgrove, With William Morrow & Company $20 (283p) ISBN 978-0-688-09466-9
This memoir, rather than glamorizing Mafia figures, lays to rest the myths of the quintessential loving, cohesive and protective Italian-American family on the fringes of New York City organized crime. Manca grew up in a home presided over by a brutal grandfather--one of Lucky Luciano's boys--who beat him regularly while his parents sat by, not daring to interfere. In due course Manca became a police officer and within a few weeks began using his badge as a way to steal, cheat and extort, which he portrays as standard practice in the NYPD of 1954-1963. Dismissed from the force, he worked all sorts of scams as ``half a wiseguy,'' allied with but not a member of the Cosa Nostra. Eventually he was imprisoned, then put in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Written with Cosgrove ( The Hemingway Papers ) the book, oddly, does little for Manca's image: he emerges as a self-indulgent, essentially amoral human being whose only expressed regret at age 60 is that his schemes have failed. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71034-8
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