The Story Behind Gotti’s Rules From Jersey Man

George Anastasia, author of  Gotti's Rules

The Story Behind Gotti’s Rules - Jersey Man: George Anastasia got a telephone call from John Alite nearly two years ago, setting in motion the writing of the book Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia.

At the time, Anastasia knew some of Alite's background, including that he was a Queens-based associate of the Gambino crime family, first under John J. Gotti and then under John A. “Junior” Gotti. Also, Anastasia knew that "he had a reputation for violence that was off the charts. And he had ultimately cut a deal with the government and became a cooperating witness."

In an article on the Jersey Man website, Anastasia tells the story of the writing of the book.


... in the mid to late 1990s [Alite] had spent considerable time in South Jersey and Philadelphia, establishing a beachhead in the underworld there. Then he had gone on the run, traveling in and out of more than a dozen countries before settling in Brazil. At first it was Goodfellas meets “The Girl from Ipanema.” Then it soured. What followed were two years in hellish Brazilian prisons, extradition to the U.S. to face racketeering-murder charges and finally the decision to cooperate and testify for the government. 
But there was more. Much more. Enough, in fact, to fill more than 300 pages in Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti and the Demise of the American Mafia. The book came out last month from Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 
It’s been an interesting experience. 

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Gotti Jr. is not a big fan. In fact, he rushed a self-published book to the Internet in an attempt to undermine the book I did about Alite. There’s a backstory there that paints the publishing business as nearly as treacherous and cutthroat as the underworld where Alite and Gotti Jr. once flourished, but that’s a story for another day. 
Alite came to me with a typed manuscript of more than 300 pages that he and another inmate had put together while they were cellmates in a federal prison. The stories were great. The writing not so good. I used the manuscript as a guide for the next year. During that time, Alite and I met dozens of times at the Marlton Diner on Route 70. Over breakfast or coffee we talked about his life, about the story he wanted to tell and about why he wanted it told. As the project progressed, I would show him sample chapters. 
I’ve gotten to know a lot of wiseguys over the years. John Alite is one of the most interesting and, other than Ron Previte, probably the one for whom I have the most empathy. He’d be the first to admit that he was a bad guy and that many of the things he did were despicable. He never tried to hide any of that or to explain it away. That’s one of the things he and Previte had in common. Neither tried to sugarcoat what they had done. ...

READ THE COMPLETE STORY

Comments

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