Mafia Jews: Inside a Genuine Cabal
(Forward) -- by Lisa Keys --
Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers
By Gus Russo
Bloomsbury USA, 592 pages, $34.95.
The Jewish people are instructed to be a “light unto the nations” — and what society could use more illumination than the underworld? So goes the story of mob lawyer Sidney Korshak, whose partnerships with Chicago gangsters led him to be named the most powerful lawyer in the world by the FBI. As part of his, er, “covenant,” he steered the mob toward a path of respectability, serving as its go-between with the white-collar world.
Sidney who, you ask? Those with a passing pop-culture familiarity with the Mafia know that Chicago was famous for its Italian Mafiosos, like Al Capone and Tony Accardo. New York City, of course, had its share of “tough Jews,” including Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. But for much of the past century, the real center of mob power was a Chicago-born Jewish lawyer — or so says investigative reporter Gus Russo in his new book, “Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers.”
The Supermob — the term was coined by late Senate investigator Walter Sheridan — was, according to Russo, a group of mostly Jewish men who made a fortune by collaborating with Chicago’s underworld. Generally, these men took mob money and funneled it into such respectable outlets as real estate and the burgeoning film industry.
The fact that these men were Jewish is crucial to Russo’s story. His telling of the Supermob tale begins in the Pale of Settlement and quickly advances to the Lawndale section of Chicago, a place so crowded with Jews that it was known as “Kosher Calcutta.” There, living amid crowded streets and a corrupt civic landscape, is a band of young, first-generation immigrant Jewish kids who are determined to make it big in American life — at any moral price. These Jewish gangsters would never make the headlines; instead, they’d serve as the behind-the-scenes masterminds of the mob.
And according to Russo, this is the role that Jews traditionally played. “Throughout history,” he writes, “the Jews were never the public leaders; they were always the kingmakers and power brokers.They knew from experience that a Jew would not get a top spot, however low the level, because of the existing anti-Semitism, even in America. They were always aware that their wealth and position in society could be noticed and another pogrom would ensue. Thus they worked surreptitiously, choosing to focus on the substrata of a business or an event.”...MORE...LINK
Turn to page 228 and read about Ronald Reagan, who got his career launched by Lew Wasserman. You can find it on GoogleBooks by googling for the words "Supermob"+"Adelson".
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