DAUGHTER OF THE KING by Sandra Lansky

DAUGHTER OF THE KING

Growing Up in Gangland

KIRKUS REVIEW

A biography of a true Mafia princess that leaves a lot to the imagination, despite assistance from veteran Hollywood chronicler Stadiem (Moneywood: Hollywood in Its Last Age of Excess, 2013, etc.).

It's no secret that readers are fascinated by the rich, the famous and the criminal, so it’s no surprise that Sandra Lansky, daughter of infamous mob boss Meyer Lansky (1902–1983), has a platform from which to share her story. However, this is no insider's account of the Mafia's heyday. The author, in what seems to be an attempt to protect her father’s memory from the stain of organized crime, hasn't just whitewashed the story; she's bleached it. Lansky refers to many of the men in the book as “uncle,” but she claims to know little about the machinations of her father and his associates. She does cover the basics: Meyer was in business with all the usual suspects, was intimately involved with gambling, had a hand in Las Vegas and built a resort in Cuba. Unfortunately, the author provides very few details of the business, elements that would make the tale far more intriguing. When she does speak of her father and his associates, she is intent on convincing readers that they were honest businessmen, demonized by a cruel and unfair government. Personal details are in better supply, but even when writing about her sex life, drug use or fear over her father's legal troubles, the narrative is only surface deep. Though she writes about her past truthfully, the prose lacks revelation. Lansky admits candidly that she was spoiled and lived in forced silence, but she writes wistfully, as though she wishes for a life forever frozen in childhood.

For a more mature and nuanced look at the life of Meyer Lansky and his family, look elsewhere. A good place to start: Robert Lacey’s Little Man (1991).

Pub Date: March 4th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-60286-215-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2014




MORE BY WILLIAM STADIEM

NonfictionJET SET by William Stadiem
by William Stadiem
NonfictionMONEYWOOD by William Stadiem
by William Stadiem
NonfictionDON’T MIND IF I DO by George Hamilton
by George Hamilton

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionDON’T MIND IF I DO by George Hamilton
by George Hamilton
NonfictionHAVANA NOCTURNE by T.J. English
by T.J. English
NonfictionMAFIA SUMMIT by Gil Reavill
by Gil Reavill