Item description for Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster: The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen by Brad Lewis...
"I have killed no man in the first place that didn't deserve killing . . . I had no alternative. It was either my life or their life."-Mickey Cohen
A marvelously detailed biography of the mobster who controlled Los Angeles for the Mafia, from Bugsy Siegel to Carlo Gambino and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Mickey Cohen was above all a master blackmailer of stars, and they all are on parade within these pages: from Marilyn Monroe to Lana Turner and Dean Martin to Sammy Davis Jr. A vast portrait of America and organized crime from the 1940s to the 1970s seen through the life of Mickey Cohen.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date May 20, 2007
Publisher Enigma Books
ISBN 1929631650 ISBN13 9781929631650
Reviews - What do customers think about Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster: The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen?
A Neon Life Jun 22, 2008
When most people hear the word "gangster", Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel or Meyer Lansky spring to mind. These were brilliant, charismatic, ruthless men who built financial empires on the backs of illegal activities, and often, other peoples misery.
I had never thought of Mickey Cohen as a first rate gangster of the magnitude of the aforementioned, but in reading this book, it is clear that he cut a wide swath through twentieth century American history.
The book is well written, although details of Cohen's life remain surprisingly sketchy. The author never does get a handle on where Cohen's opulent wealth comes from, although he does hint that prostitution and gambling are it's main source.
Cohen and Benny Siegel moved from East Coast to West to capture the vice at the request of Meyer Lansky, and each had a storied career. Siegel's has been told many times. Cohen's, normally as an adjunct to Siegel's.
This book makes clear that Cohen's life and influence far surpassed "Bugsy's". Cohen not only controlled much of the traditional vice along the West Coast, he had in's with Senators, Presidents, Hollywood icons, and even The Reverend Billy Graham.
Through it all he comes off as an upstanding, decent, and charismatic person.
He survived up to twelve attempted "hits", two extended prison stays, and not least, two marriages.
He is a piece of American folklore I would like to know more about, and for anyone who feels the same, this book is an excellent chronicle of a twentieth century enigma.
HOLLYWOOD'S -REAL LITTLE CAESAR! Nov 16, 2007
Mickey Cohen certainly was a product of his time. Edward G. Robinson only played LITTLE CAESAR on screen, Cohen was the real thing. He was made to measure for dominating the crime in and around Hollywood. From fixing prize fights and horse races to shaking down movie stars and politicians. Then there are the six murders that he freely admits to, not counting all those he doesn't own up to. Still, ask any waiter, car hop or bell boy and they're all tell you what a great guy he was -or rather a great tipper.
Mickey Cohen fitted right in with LA. His exploits commanded the front pages and gossip columns of the day. Brad Lewis' book is well researched, but for me not all the loose ends were tied together. Cohen's relationships with his bosses -the mob, are detailed better in Gus Russo's book SUPERMOB.
Mickey Cohen the Gangster Jul 12, 2007
This is a firts bio of Mickey Cohen but it's much more and in fact covers a whole period in Mafia history centered on the West Coast. Made lively by hundreds of anecdotes, this book is very satisfying and fills a huge gap in the known history of the Jewish Mob, its political and business ramifications and the incredible reach of some of its memebers. From Bugsy Siegel to the rat Pack: all the Hollywood "gangs" are shown here and Mickey was almost like a puppet master pulling strings! A must read.
Couldn't Put It Down - Real Page Turner Jul 12, 2007
I liked this fascinating story of a criminal who didn't believe he was one. Before this very little was known about Mickey Cohen. I found the design descriptions of the night clubs and Cohen's houses and apartments very interesting. This underwold figure was made real, human, and surprisingly likeable. Each chapter revealed another intriguing facet of his life. Highly recommended. It is unusual for a history/biography to be such a fun read.
Terrific book on the life of Mickey Cohen Jul 10, 2007
A comprehensive, thorough expose of the early Mafia days of New York, Hollywood, and Las Vegas. A fascinating read!