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A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno
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A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  387 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
"Friendships, connections, family ties, trust, loyalty, obedience-this was the 'glue' that held us together."

These were the principles that the greatest Mafia "Boss if Bosses," Joseph Bonnano, lived by. Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Bonnano found his future amid the whiskey-running, riotous streets of Prohibition America in 1924, when he illegally entered the Un
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 20th 2003 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published February 1st 1984)
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Mar 25, 2013 Larry rated it liked it
Interesting exercise in self deception and revisionist history. I'm sure he wasn't the innocent victim he portrays himself to be. Who among us just happens to have a loaded shotgun handy in the event of an intruder?
The Mafia has always held a weird fascination for many people. As an amateur history buff, I've found the idea of gangsters and their interactions with the larger society interesting. Even the romance genre (especially interracial romance) has gotten into the act with mafia-themed romances. But I've thought many of those books tend to brush aside the darker side of what the mafia is and what it does in favor of the alpha male stereotype (ironically one book I've read, even though it failed miser ...more
P.e. lolo
Mar 16, 2012 P.e. lolo rated it it was ok
Strange story and at times interesting. Started out by revering everything to clans and saying that they did not force anyone people gave of their free will some of the information was good. The end of the really just him rambling.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

It was okay - even though it is told from his POV I just did not feel it.
Brooke Boudoin
Jan 14, 2017 Brooke Boudoin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
for all of my Sicilian lovers

I heard about this book through a Netflix series called the truth Of America. Still reading but I love learning about the Mafia' history
Nov 08, 2016 John rated it really liked it
Kind of boring.
Sep 27, 2016 Kerry rated it really liked it
I read through this book while taking a course in organized crime at university. We studied many forms of organized crime through history, including the mafia. It was interesting reading a book written in a non-law enforcement point of view, as we would go through portions of events that happened in the book. It was a good tool used in the classroom to get students into discussion, particularly seen through both sides of the law.
Sep 17, 2013 Doreen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bill
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it at the library
Keeping in mind that the author is unwilling and unable to provide the complete picture of his life for fear of legal reprisals, this book is actually quite revealing. To understand the Families and their traditions, one must first understand how Italy was ruled throughout the centuries. Each region of Italy operated independently within the whole and the necessity for protection and cooperation was essential for survival. Bonanno, a Sicilian, explains all of this in his book.

He outlines his boo
May 11, 2010 Ice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, favorites
"Friendships, connections, family ties, trust, loyalty, obedience-this was the 'glue' that held us together."These were the principles that the greatest Mafia "Boss if Bosses," Joseph Bonnano, lived by. Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Bonnano found his future amid the whiskey-running, riotous streets of Prohibition America in 1924, when he illegally entered the United States to pursue his dreams. By the age of only twenty-six, Bonnano became a Don.

He would eventually take over the New Y
Anna Graham
Jan 24, 2013 Anna Graham rated it really liked it
I knew nothing about Joe Bonanno upon starting this book. At the end, I knew of a man dedicated to The Tradition from his Sicilian homeland, and his correct judgment that Americans are too concerned with money, not caring enough about family. Along the way I learned about others within that Tradition, and some not. Mostly I got to know Joe Bonanno as a person, his views and ideas. Whether or not they are all accurate matters little; as a man, Bonanno lived an intriguing, sometimes hazardous life ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing
I liked this book. When I first bought it, I thought it was going to be long, boring and tidieous, but I was wrong, the story was interesting. The book explains the history and roots of the mafia along with the differences between a mafioso and a gangster. It gives a lot of information on the history of the 5 families in NYC and in other parts of the country. Joe Bonanno did a great job writing this book despite the fact he did not study to be an author. I'm glad I have a copy of his book in my ...more
Joseph was the head of one of the biggest mafia families in NYC. He was the one that they modelled the godfather after. This book was pretty interesting, especially since I like sopranos. This showed more of the beginnings of what they do on the show, and helped me understand it better. Even the part about the necklace on the saint, which was on the new season show, was in the book. I only got through half of the book, because it started to get a bit boring. But I'm sure that people with more at ...more
May 21, 2009 Keith rated it it was ok
Was Joseph Bonanno the head Godfather of the Mafia in the United States or a Sicilian immigrant that was wrongly targeted by the FBI, resulting in the destruction of his family and his reputation? I guess it depends on who you ask and since this is Joe’s autobiography the outcome is obvious. It is interesting that the language and style of this book is so stilted that I think he must have actually written it himself.
Oct 29, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it
Good read...interesting look at the mafia from one of the top leaders...his rationalization for his life and the explanation of the "black hand" (mafia)is so very interesting. Just don't understand how they can rationalize their lifestyle with their family and church dedication.
Jan 30, 2008 Kurt rated it really liked it
A self agrandizing auto-biography by Joseph Bonanno who was one of the original five Godfathers of the Five Families of New York. A good read with alot of mob history in it.
Melissa Elizabeth
Jan 08, 2008 Melissa Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: partially-read
Lots of information! Pretty interesting too. I had to put it down about halfway through because there was just so much. Maybe he could've have a two part series or something?
Jan 07, 2015 Steve rated it liked it
Interesting view of the Mafia from the inside. However, because it was from an insider you get a lot of self-justifying and not-so-truthful stories.
Jan 27, 2010 Walt rated it really liked it
Shelves: organized-crime
A fascinating, if highly biased and controversial history of the New York mob by a former mob boss. Even considering the obvious omissions, it is a good book.
Peter Tucker
Nov 30, 2015 Peter Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Obviously he paints a virtuous picture which is doubtful. Still, his story is interesting and I have no doubt that his old country values are long gone.
Robb rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2015
David rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2015
William Toutant
William Toutant rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2015
Chris rated it liked it
Mar 28, 2012
William F. Mason
William F. Mason rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2015
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Jul 10, 2015
kevin bostic
kevin bostic rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2014
Batman rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2010
Teawench rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2011
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Oct 20, 2015
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Julie Washburn rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2014
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“All men have eyes, Machiavelli says, but few have the gift of penetration.” 2 likes
“Everybody makes himself inconspicuous when the captain asks for volunteers for night patrol. But one man, the pure warrior, has already rubbed burnt cork on his face. He believes winning the war is his personal responsibility.” 0 likes
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