The Gotti Wars: Taking Down America’s Most Notorious Mobster

Scribner. May 2022. 338p. ISBN 9781982186920. $28.99. CRIME
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Gleeson recounts the two times he prosecuted New York mob boss John Gotti. The first trial, in 1987, where Gleeson served on the team as a new AUSA, ended in a not guilty verdict. Gleeson had another shot at Gotti five years later, and this time the prosecution prevailed. Notably, at the second trial, defendant-turned-witness Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano broke Omertà (the mafia code of silence), which was unheard of in mob circles. Readers may be daunted by the four-page cast of characters, but Gleeson’s writing is so compelling and organized that the list of names is almost unnecessary. He leaves almost nothing out and unabashedly admits his own missteps along the way. Gleeson has crafted this retelling as carefully as he prepped the two cases. His description of the politics behind the scenes and his interactions with the likes of U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr are icing on the cake. Gleeson describes going on to serve as a federal judge; he is now in private practice.
VERDICT Do we need yet another book on Gotti? Gleeson answers the question with a resounding yes.
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