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Silent Don Hardcover – 15 May 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books Inc.,U.S. (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803226
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,476,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Explores the life of a powerful Florida mafia boss who controlled a crime network stretching between the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, an organization linked to drug trafficking, plots to kill Fidel Castro, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Significant Work on the Tampa Mafia 25 July 2007
By Rick Warner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those who don't know, Santo Trafficante, Jr., was the Mob boss of the Tampa, Florida area from at least the late 50s to his death in the 1980s, and he may have had some sort of connection with JFK's assassination. Scott Deitche does a marvelous job of giving us his background and details about his life, as well as other incidents in the Tampa crime family during his reign.

Deitche's second book is very impressive. He has shown tremendous growth and uses a wealth of primary sources, including oral interviews of living relatives of deceased mobsters. For the researcher, the endnotes are greatly appreciated. As far as writing style, it's almost academic compared to the informal style of his first book. So if you want to know what went on in the field of Florida organized crime in the second half of the twentieth century, this is the book for you. If you are just interested in true crime, this is also for you. And for those interested in Tampa or Florida history, I think you will enjoy it too.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not compelling, but . . . 22 Aug 2007
By Girard Bowe - Published on
Format: Hardcover
certainly worth reading if you like digging a bit deeper into the Mafia literature. Trafficante usually figures as a minor character in other books, so I was glad to learn more about him. I wouldn't call this a great read, though. There are a number of references to "Mob Lawyer," Selwynn Raab's biography of Ragano, Trafficante's lawyer. Haven't read that yet, but have read Raab's "Five Families," which I can highly recommend as being very well-written & informative.

Most bothersome to me about "Silent Don" was the index - the page references were off on every single entry - and I checked dozens. There was some regularity to the discrepancy, but it was a real pain to work around.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Real Crime, South Florida style. 28 Dec 2007
By Mcgivern Owen L - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Silent Don" is the story of Santo Trafficante, longtime Mafia boss of South Florida. SD provides an endless parade of mafiadom, crime personalities and corrupt officials. Author Deitche has certainly done his homework. Like a good reporter, the author buttresses his text with piles of references and footnotes, almost to the point of overkill. SD touches many the many bases of Trafficante's line of work, but two chapters stand out: 1) Chapter 6 deals with the "good old days" in Havana before Fidel Castro overthrew the place, closed the casinos and kicked the mob out. What a fun, free wheeling, anything goes place Havana must have been-and how profitable for the bosses like ST. One wishes this fascinating sector had been longer. 2) Chapter 15 takes us to, if not down, the slippery slope of the JFK assassination and the Mob's involvement with that treacherous act. Did Trafficante REALLY confess his role in the JFK murder to his lawyer? Deitche suggests so. Or, as the author also hints, was Carlos Marcello, Mafia boss of New Orleans, behind the JFK hit? Marcello controlled Dallas in those days. Perhaps it was that eponymous bunch of "rogue" CIA agents harboring grudges from the Bay of Pigs fiasco? Again, one wishes for more concrete evidence, however fascinating the speculation. The final call on SD makes a 5 star rating impossible. Deitche would have served his readers better had he narrowed the scope of the text rather than covering so many of ST's criminal activities. Also, the typesetting is wearying: Paragraphs need to be better spaced. Physical layout is a problem here and the footnoting is awkward. Do we need 536 of them in a 229 page book? A good stern editor with a sharp blue pencil could have tidied up the text, but those guys were laid off years ago! That kvetching aside, SD remains an entertaining 4 star story. This is only a first edition; perhaps future printings can address the housekeeping issues. That might nudge "Silent Don" up into the 5 star category.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
FINALLY...........THE LOWDOWN!!!!! 16 Jan 2008
By Jason Jackson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Being from Tampa I've been looking all over for info on the 400 pound elephant in this town. People still whisper his name around here as if he's going to come back from the grave and seek revenge on them. My parents used to tell me stories about him and his family's activities in our "hood"(it sure as hell wasn't happening in his neighborhood). Hell, he's buried less than a mile from where I live, along with majority of his "family members". So let's just say his presence still seems to loom over Tampa. But the old guard of Tampa just tries to forget the past, especially "his" past. Finally, this author comes with some juicy details from the exploits of Santo Trafficante Jr. Everything from his father's start, Santo Sr., to Cuba, to Appalachian, to La Stella, Bay of Pigs, Hoffa, all the way to JFK. Not to mention Donnie Brasco. This book was a huge bounce back from CIGAR CITY MAFIA, and will not dissappoint. GREAT JOB SCOTT!! Now give us something on Charlie Wall or Primo Lazzara. Hell, I'll buy it.
Terrible Editing 10 Aug 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading other reviews that state that this book is better written than Deitche's first book, Cigar City Mafia, makes me wonder just how poorly written that first book must really be. Fortunately, I have not read Cigar City Mafia and I doubt I will because I found The Silent Don to be dull, boring and, at times, difficult to follow with so many similar-sounding names, no dramatis personae and a completely worthless index. I was not able to find a single correct page reference. However, Deitche obviously did his homework and the book is well-researched. In fact, I checked a few of the references and was unable to find any major errors other than a few incorrect dates and some typos. Nevertheless, I did not find this book to be enjoyable reading and, at times, it felt as dry as a classroom text book. A much better book on this subject is Havana Nocturne by T.J. English.
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