: Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life (Audible Audio Edition): Robert Lacey, Ron Silver, Phoenix Books: Books. Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. Robert Lacey, Author Little Brown and Company $ (p) ISBN More By and About. Meyer Lansky. When you heard the name, you shivered. He was the cold-eyed financial genius behind the omnipresent, omniscient Mob.

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Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life by Robert Lacey

He is the author of numerous international bestsellers. Lacey is a good story-teller though and seems to research thoroughly, so I will try out more of his non-fiction. When Cuba got a deserved reputation for running sucker games, dictator Fulgencio Batista called in Lansky and friends to clean up the action.

What Meyer Lansky really knew was how to run a casino or gaming house. A biography is a difficult proposition. He was arithmetically smart, but knew nothing about family and life. Even if he could interview the subject of the biography, would that interview yield anything beyond an individual’s tainted self image, or desire for remembrance?

It is of interest to read the book now, ina few years after the death of the scumbag. This one interested me because I thought there might be some redeeming qualities of Lansky.

LITTLE MAN by Robert Lacey | Kirkus Reviews

I had to quit reading this biography. True to legend, he was a wizard with numbers, so good that he could recalculate baseball players’ batting averages in his head while watching a game.

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Both were rhe for the right to investigate Organized Crime.

It was excruciating and left me saddened. Want to Read saving….


Ironically it shows where he made his roots- preying on his fellow Jews in the most violent manner. I was persuaded by the evidence, but I didn’t need all the littpe. No way, asserts Lacey. Meyer Lansky has been heralded for the past 40 years as a criminal mastermind that organized the rackets into a corporate entity that was “bigger than US Steel.

Jun 21, J. Understanding the individuals meaning, to themselves, to others, their emotions, desires, their achievements and disappointments is most difficult. Seizure Led to FloJo’s Death. Mar 11, Tom Nolan added it.


To have a long and successful criminal career, you have to be honest. A fascinating insight into the USA and to how so much lifw the country was built by people like Lansky. Jan 03, Tommy rated it liked it. And who runs gambling today?

Excellent biography of Meyer Lansky. Lists with This Book.

Lacey’s larger message is that meyeg Mafia is really like local groups of Freemasons, with sometimes quite active links between one another but not congealed into a centrally structured organization. But actually Lansky was a mediocre businessman, Lacey reports. That otherwise he’d just have been no different than any other successful businessman.

Much of the business was conducted locally, at times, neighborhood to neighborhood, block to block. In reality, he was an interesting figure but nowhere near the hype. He was the shadowy mastermind of countless illicit enterprises, the Svengali who really pulled the strings while his col leagues were busy defining the gangster life style, getting gunned down in barbershops or buying diamond stickpins big as the Ritz.

A Lansky investment in oil wells did pay off for a while, but after his death inthe value of the investment went south, wiping out the rather paltry estate he had left behind.


Clearly, honesty was for chumps. He ran them honestly, believed in the power of the payoff when it came to the authorities and the strength of being a m I thoroughly enjoyed this.

He quickly mastered the odds, which led him to the immediate lif that the games were rigged. I would have rated this book higher if the passages about the later stages of Lansky’s life been edited down. ,ittle Lansky was quite a character!

Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life

The events of the stubject’s associates, and the surrounding world that interacts with them can be difficult to interpret, and previously written reports necessitates reliance upon other writer’s skill and integrity in reporting. In the ‘s, as potential presidential contenders lined up to succeed Truman, two senators in particular needed boosts: But as a social snapshot of how a scumbag would like to be seen it is interesting.

As an old, sick man, he was denied residence in Israel; he was hounded by the FBI; the INS tried to deport him; his three children were hellishly dysfunctional; and he died broke.

It also only briefly touches on his early Prohibition years, completely ignoring the fact that the Jewish-American Bugs and Meyer Mob had a reputation for being one of the most notoriously violent Prohibition gangs of the s.

This shouldn’t be surprising considering Laceys main primary source for this book was Lanskys son. Apr 02, Malcolm rated it liked it. Which I may or may not still be in. H Gaines rated it it was amazing. His scores make his case.