The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld

Morrow. Mar. 2018. 592p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062568960. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062568977. CRIME
OrangeReviewStarWriter English (Havana Nocturne) has scored gold again, with this latest book that explores Cuban mobsters in America following the exodus after Fidel Castro's revolution. The book centers on the criminal career of José Miguel Battle, a cop under the Batista regime, a Bay of Pigs survivor, and hero to Cuban exiles in the States. Battle was quick to organize the bolita, a form of the Cuban lottery in Union City, NJ. His criminal enterprise grew rapidly into a fully formed mafia, known as the "Corporation," or Compania, which spread across Cuban communities even into south Florida. Havana's version of the Godfather, Battle was a mob boss with far-reaching influence—American law enforcement was aware of his organization, a target of President Reagan's Select Committee on Organized Crime. He served two years in prison on a 30-year murder conviction, pled guilty on racketeering charges in 2006, and was sentenced to 20 years. Battle died in prison in 2007.
VERDICT Riveting nonfiction worthy of the best creative storyteller. English's extensive notes and documentation result in a first-rate saga of crime and corruption that is further testament to the author's reputation among the nation's most accomplished writers. [See Prepub Alert, 9/25/17.]
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