• The Gotti Wars

  • Taking Down America's Most Notorious Mobster
  • By: John Gleeson
  • Narrated by: Adam Grupper
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A riveting decades-in-the-writing memoir from the determined young prosecutor who, in two of America’s most celebrated trials, managed to convict famed mob boss John Gotti—and subsequently took down the Mafia altogether.

John Gotti was without a doubt the flashiest and most feared Mafioso in American history. He became the boss of the Gambino Crime Family in spectacular fashion—with the brazen and very public murder of Paul Castellano in front of Sparks Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan in 1985. Not one to stay below law enforcement’s radar, Gotti instead became the first celebrity crime boss. His penchant for eye-catching apparel earned him the nickname “The Dapper Don;” his ability to beat criminal charges led to another: “The Teflon Don.”

This is the captivating story of Gotti’s meteoric rise to power and his equally dramatic downfall. Every step of the way, Gotti’s legal adversary—John Gleeson, an Assistant US Attorney in Brooklyn—was watching. When Gotti finally faced two federal racketeering prosecutions, Gleeson prosecuted both. As the junior lawyer in the first case—a bitter seven-month battle that ended in Gotti’s acquittal—Gleeson found himself in Gotti’s crosshairs, falsely accused of serious crimes by a defense witness Gotti intimidated into committing perjury.

Five years later, Gleeson was in charge of the second racketeering investigation and trial. Armed with the FBI’s secret recordings of Gotti’s conversations with his underboss and consigliere in the apartment above Gotti’s Little Italy hangout, Gleeson indicted all three. He “flipped” underboss Sammy the Bull Gravano, killer of nineteen men, who became history’s highest-ranking mob turncoat—resulting in Gotti’s murder conviction. Gleeson ended not just Gotti’s reign, but eventually that of the entire mob.

An epic courtroom drama, The Gotti Wars is a brilliantly told crime story that illuminates a time in our nation’s history when lawyers and mobsters dominated the news, but it’s also the story of a tenacious young man, in the glare of the media spotlight, who mastered the art of becoming a great attorney.

©2022 John Gleeson. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story and book. Small criticisms

I am a 34 year veteran state prosecutor who is tried over 150 jury trials and thousands of other court appearances. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the experiences the writer went through. Mr. Gleeson is a hard working prosecutor and deserves credit for his work. This audiobook is excellent and I couldn’t wait to listen to more.
One small criticism. I I have always believed that prosecutors should stay in the background and should not take much credit for wins or losses. I have also I have always thought it unseemly for prosecutors after wins or convictions to appear in front of the cameras and make public statements. I always preferred a less dramatic statement saying we respected the jury’s decision and the process. I would have preferred a less visible public presence after the second trials conviction
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Also I am not sure why attorney Gleason accompanied his cooperating criminal witness to Washington to give testimony in front of a Senate committee. The person sitting next to the witness during testimony should’ve been the witnesses private attorney and not the prosecutor.
Finally I had to smile when Mr. Gleason said that the trial date was getting close and he only had three more months to prepare. As a state prosecutor I remember at times we might get three weeks or even three days notice of trial.
Once again, great book. Really enjoyed

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Gotti is covered in Velcro & all the charges stuck.

After some brief insight into John Gleeson’s journey to become lead prosecutor for John Gotti’s final prosecution. We are taken inside the government’s case. From wire tapes to Sammy’s historic cooperation. Great book for those of us that have consumed everything on Gotti. Getting Gleeson’s perspective will help you fill in the blanks about how the government built the case that would end the Teflon Don’s run on the streets of NY.

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great mob story

great pacing, exciting story, good reading, good piece of history and memorable tale of NY in the 80's

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Exceeded my expectations

Six decade, lifelong Italian American New Yorker, well versed in the Mafia and the spectacle that was John Gotti. That said, I learned so much from this book - a fascinating study in the lengths the mob would go to fight prosecution and the opposing lengths the justice system goes to prosecute them in spite of. Unless you lived in New York at the time, I don’t think you can appreciate how all consuming this trial was and what was on the line. Kudos to John Brennan for this insightful memoir of the case.

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tremendous respect for Gleason but none rat Sam

This rat eventually became a drug dealer while using his own family. Judge Gleason has done a great work with giving some lifer's a second chance.

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Not bad - decent listen

interested, going a lil to far with all boring court jargon but decent listen . 2 days .