The former wife of one of Meyer Lansky's right-hand men describes her travels to Rome to help her husband launder money through the Vatican, dinners at Lansky's home, and more.
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A good-time memoir of life on the fringes of the New York mob, by the widow of a crony of Meyer Lansky's. Sadowsky was a teenager from Brooklyn when, in 1959, she was introduced to Bernie Barton, the live-wire owner of a nightclub called The Velvet Room. Despite a 20-year age difference and rumors of Barton's past jail sentences and gangster connections, soon Sadowsky was seeing Barton every night. Their life together reads like a travelogue: a jaunt up to Harlem, where Barton ran a numbers joint; an appointment with his parole officer, who had to approve their wedding; a consultation with Barton's Spanish Harlem-based Santeria priest, who snorted cocaine, decapitated chickens, and gave business advice. Sadowsky and Barton delivered a suitcase of bearer bonds to Vatican bankers and spent a winter in Miami hanging out with the revered Lansky. They started a storefront ministry in Harlem, complete with a charismatic ``preacher,'' and made good money until the preacher got unruly. They went to the Ivory Coast, trying to set up a trade deal, but ended up getting thrown out of the country. Shortly after their son was born, Barton died of heart disease. After a period of mourning, Sadowsky got involved in several of his businesses, then endured a disastrous marriage to Chalky Lefkowitz, Barton's childhood best friend. Little Goodfellas-like ugliness mars Sadowsky's gangland spin, told with the help of novelist Gilmour (So Long, Daddy, 1983). Drug use, murder, jail sentences, money worries, and infidelity are glossed over in favor of clothes, parties, and criminal buddies with cute names like ``Hot Dog.'' A lively and engaging string of benign adventures, then, with none of the harsh bite of violent reality. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Sandowsky, raised in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood, became the mistress of mobster Bernie Barton of the Meyer Lansky gang when she was a teenager, a man twice her age who suffered the disabling effects of childhood rheumatic fever. They married and had a son, born shortly before his father died. Despite her declared ambition to marry a second man who was not in the rackets, in 1969 Sandowsky wed her late husband's best friend, Chalky Lefkowitz, also in organized crime and determined to make her the typical mob wife: a passive and complaisant Hausfrau. In due course they divorced. The memoir, written with Gilmour, author of 15 books, is primarily about clothes, jewelry, meals at expensive restaurants, visits to trendy nightclubs and social contacts with mobsters. There's not much here to interest readers curious about the inner workings of organized crime. Ironically, Barton's son Jeffrey, we're told in an epilogue, graduated in 1989 from Manhattan's John Jay College of Criminal Justice and now works in law enforcement.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Putnam Adult, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110399136142
Book Description Putnam Adult, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0399136142
Book Description Putnam Adult, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0399136142
Book Description Putnam Adult. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0399136142 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1074475