An insider's impossible-to-put-down account of life within the "Honorable Society.''



A riveting memoir of life inside the murderous world of Mafia chieftain Santo Trafficante and Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, by their personal lawyer (and longtime New York Times reporter Raab)—filled with chilling, credible revelations of mob involvement in the murders of President Kennedy and Hoffa.

Ragano started practice as the protégé of a prominent Tampa criminal defense attorney, Pat Whittaker. Soon, he ingratiated himself with Trafficante, Whittaker's principal client, then became Trafficante's full-time lawyer, defending the mob boss and his associates in occasional criminal cases, tweaking the Florida authorities, and passing time in the Mafioso's Havana gambling clubs. Arrested by Castro's men in 1959, Trafficante was saved from almost certain execution by the lawyer's intervention, and by 1961, Trafficante had brought Ragano into contact with Jimmy Hoffa, hoping that Ragano's influence would induce Hoffa to make loans to the mob from the Teamsters' pension funds. In 1963, Hoffa, hard pressed by Bobby Kennedy's "Get Hoffa'' squad, asked Ragano to tell Trafficante and New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello to kill John Kennedy. Ragano relayed the message, and, after the union boss's five-year prison term for jury tampering, he tried in vain to persuade Hoffa not to reenter union activities until Hoffa's 1975 disappearance. Ragano writes that in a 1987 conversation, Trafficante confirmed to Ragano that he was privy to CIA contracts to kill Castro, that he and Marcello had conspired to kill Kennedy and that mobsters at the behest of Hoffa's successor, Ed Fitzsimmons, murdered Hoffa. Ragano's prominence as a lawyer ended with convictions for tax evasion, disbarment, a brief reinstatement as an attorney, and another conviction for tax violations. Ragano is presently serving a one-year term.

An insider's impossible-to-put-down account of life within the "Honorable Society.''

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-684-19568-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1994

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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