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Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution | [T. J. English]

Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba...and Then Lost It to the Revolution

Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others.
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Publisher's Summary

In Havana Nocturne, T. J. English offers a riveting, multifaceted true tale of organized crime, political corruption, roaring nightlife, revolution, and international conflict that interweaves the dual stories of the mob in Havana and the event that would overshadow it: the Cuban Revolution.

Bringing together long-buried historical information and English's own research in Havana - including interviews with the era's key survivors - Havana Nocturne takes listeners back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island's brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom.

But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others who would lead the country's disenfranchised to overthrow their corrupt government and its foreign partners - an epic cultural battle that English captures in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory.

©2008 T. J. English; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"English's engaging narrative reads with the gripping quality of fiction: the dark underworld of Havana comes to life....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Crime writer English...unfolds a story whose main outline will be familiar to any fan of The Godfather: Part II, but whose twists and turns no screenplay could keep up with." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (678 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marilyn 06-11-15
    Marilyn 06-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    Story
    "Covers both the Mob and Cuban history"

    Having just returned from a trip to Cuba I was interested in learning more about the country, particularly as related to the US. This book provided a fascinating look at both, with wonderful detailed digressions and details about the various characters, both Cuban and the American gangsters. I thought the narrator was perfect for this story- it deserves a deep, full voice. Great descriptions of the action, the people and the surroundings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-25-15
    David 05-25-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    7
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    0
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    "Havana daydream"

    Go on a trip to the golden days, swinging nightclubs, and luxurious casinos of Havana. The swirl of sex and music echo from the Tropicana, Riviera, and the Capri into the streets. The good times & money are flowing. Learn the true story of how the mob was behind the entire Cuban boom. Hear interesting stories of how Frank Sinatra, JFK, Pan Am airline, and Hilton all had connections to Lansky and his "Havana mob." - Interesting story that captivates the listener w/descriptions of a dazzling era, while still educating about the events leading to the revolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Whitaker 05-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    4
    4
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    "One history of Cuba"

    Full of interesting characters but a little repetitive and, while it may be accurate, a really jaded story of corruption in Cuba.

    I would recommend for those of us who want to visit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HT all over :) 05-09-15
    HT all over :) 05-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "Fascinating and entertaining history"

    I didn't know what to expect, but this book exceeded my expectations. It's a detailed perspective rarely heard about the U.S. History in Cuba and the political and economic ties with the U.S. Mob.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    1DrummingAddict Mount Juliet, TN 04-05-15
    1DrummingAddict Mount Juliet, TN 04-05-15 Member Since 2014

    I love just a few things... Family, Drumming, Baseball, and Intellect.

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    "Interesting story, VERY DETAILED!"

    Very detailed information, at times far too detailed. Some of the tangents are a little too distant from the story line.
    The narration is a little too slow. But that's rectified by playing the book at x1.25 speed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIYBRID 03-31-15
    HIYBRID 03-31-15

    Former steelworker from Buffalo NY retired after 40 yrs. as a Registered Nurse. Viet Vet, did a lot of theater in HS... e-Clectic for sure

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So that's where my uncles went on vacation"

    Fishing my ass uncle Danny you went to Havana for this. Aunt Millie never knew...
    Nor did any of us guess how incredibly convoluted the mystery was. I never thought that a dollar could stretch so far as to be in the pocket of six mobsters and a president at the same time. Since I grew up on the east coast when this all was happening and the names are all familiar memories this tale of the corruption in Cuba is even more relevant now that we are trying to normalize the last 50 yrs of idiocy. More than adequate narration as well...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rarosage 03-05-15
    rarosage 03-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "great "

    so much detailed information. I will listen again! very interesting historical account of American/Cuban history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    samantha marks 03-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Well written but not thrilling"

    This was good a good historical accounting of what happened in Cuba. I didn't know the history of the mob and Castro but I personally was hoping for a more salacious story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeffrey 02-27-15
    jeffrey 02-27-15 Member Since 2014

    Father of three with no time to actually read, but also a former history teacher and current attorney with a long commute-I love audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "if you like history and mob tales, it's great"
    Would you listen to Havana Nocturne again? Why?

    no--I tend to only listen to books once


    What other book might you compare Havana Nocturne to and why?

    any mob history book....


    What about Mel Foster’s performance did you like?

    solid, even performance


    If you could give Havana Nocturne a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The Real Story of Godfather 2


    Any additional comments?

    Good listen, especially if you like history and the mob tales...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NinaS The Ozarks - USA 02-23-15
    NinaS The Ozarks - USA 02-23-15 Member Since 2014

    Nina Sala-Gault

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    "I expected more dish about the night life"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would make it less about the facts and figures and more about the beauty of the island and the people, the night life, the glitz and glamour.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something less historical. This makes two in a row about Latin countries that failed to bring the local feel I was after.


    Did Havana Nocturne inspire you to do anything?

    Stop reading it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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