Normally I wouldn’t have the time of day to consider, let alone read, an autobiography. I havefound most autobiographies to be pompous, self-serving regurgitation of their life’s best moments,including “how I crawled out of a ditch in a drunken self induced drug stupor and turned it aroundto become the success I am today.”

Frank Ragano, the lawyer who spent 30 years working for Florida’s Mafia and labor leader Jimmy Hoffa,makes none of the mistakes of trying to write the book alone. Ragano instead enlists the assistance ofSelwyn Raab, a New York Times reporter who covered the Mafia for over 20 years.

The combination of the two is what makes this book work. Well, to be truthful the content helps a lot.

It is an inside look at how the mob moved into Cuba just before and during the time Fidel Castro was aloser rebel in the hills, how the mob links to the Labor movement operated to drain funds and others.The book alleges that it may have been Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and the Mafia who assassinatedU.S. President JFK. Oliver Stone, eat your heart out.

Hoffa’s disappearance is directly laid at the feet of the mob. His replacement was more generous withTeamster money to mob-owned construction goons.

The book also tells of the Kennedy

brothers’ sexual escapades. In the years before he became attorney-general, it is said Robert Kennedyspent a night with three Cuban prostitutes in a mob-owned hotel while a top Mafia boss watched througha one-way mirror.

Hey, hey, you say. Where’s the bullet to the head? The omerta, the Mafia code of silence, has beenviolated. Ragano is almost 70 years old and after having a heart attack says he has nothing to fearany more. He wrote, “It’s my destiny to tell this story no matter what the consequences.”

The finished product is good, not a must-read but a pleasant surprise that kept me reading from coverto cover twice.

Mob Lawyer

By Frank Ragano and Selwyn RaabMaxwell Macmillan Canada Toronto, 1994