American Desperado: My Life--From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset

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Crown/Archetype, Nov 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 560 pages
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The true story of super-criminal Jon Roberts, star of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys. 
 
American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become--at age 22--one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler.
 
But that’s just half the tale. 
 
The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
 
Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard.  Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.
 
Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you’ve ever read.
 

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User Review  - scuzzy - LibraryThing

If you're squeamish with gory details, against the glorifying of crime, and don't like the odd swear word, this book is not you. However, if like me you like it told with the subtlety of an elephant ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

JON ROBERTS is considered most responsible for bringing cocaine into the United States during the era in which the Medellin Cartel flourished. He is a central figure in the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which has been watched by millions. 

EVAN WRIGHT is a two-time National Magazine Award Winner and recipient of the Columbia University School of Journalism and Harvard University Niemen Foundation Lukas Prize. He is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and author of the bestseller Generation Kill as well as Hella Nation.

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