Drawing on a treasure trove of documents and interviews, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan reveal stunning new information about Sinatra's links to such Mafia figures as Sam Giancana and Lucky Luciano. And we see for the first time where the Mafia connection began, how and why it lasted, and how it impinged on others.
Here, too, is the core of the private Sinatra that the singer so long concealed. The heartbreaking truth about his passion for Ava Gardner emerges from never-before-published conversations with Gardner herself. In exclusive, intimate interviews, the women who loved Sinatra share memories of the joy and pain of their relationships with him. And we learn what it was like to be the friend of a man who was generous and loyal to a fault, yet who could turn abruptly into a vindictive brute.
Dramatic, eye-opening, and unfailingly fair-minded, Sinatra is masterful biography: the revelatory story of a brilliant artist and an infinitely complex man.
©2005 Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
During the opening parts of this audio book, I was amazed at how much private information the author (Summers) seemed to have accumulated on the Sinatra Family. As I got further into the book, I began to feel a little “suspect” of the growing amount of intelligence he had gathered. By the time I was halfway through, I had begun to suspect just about anything Summers was saying.
Although the publicity statement on the book labels it as “unfailingly fair-minded,” after finishing the book, I think it’s safe to say that such accolades are seriously off-target. This biography is anything but “fair-minded.”
Summers’ bias trickles through in the first third of the book (he obviously didn’t like Sinatra, the man), then runs more steadily in the book’s middle before it grows to a torrent by the last third.
For instance, Summers obviously approves of Sinatra’s political dalliances with the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, but repels at his alignment with Nixon later in his life. He makes light of Sinatra’s failure to condemn the burglary of Nixon’s doctor’s office by Kennedy henchmen during the 1960 presidential campaign (Frank’s mob connections may have even helped), but is offended by Frank’s cavalier opinion about the Watergate burglary by Nixon henchmen during the 1972 campaign.
And some of Summers’ assertions are just too improbable, such as the allegation that Sinatra turned to forcible rape when he was a mega-star in his 50s.
The book is entertaining, and well written (and narrated), but I would take about 80 percent of it with a grain of salt—maybe even a whole saltshaker. In fact, if just 20 percent of the contents can be called factual, then Sinatra has to be discussed in the same vein as Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, and Jack the Ripper. If I thought the information was more accurate, I would have graded it a star higher.
"Sinatra Fact list."
Interesting book for Sinatra fans. At times read like a "shopping list" of facts and dates. Lacked emotion. An interesting antidote to the sugary version that Barbara Marx/Sinatra has released. A balanced portrait of a very complex man.
excellent from start to finish,goes though sinatras life with a ring of truth,especially his undisputed mob ties
his love life and his glittering career would recommend **********
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