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» » The Last Good Time: Skinny D'Amato, the Notorious 500 Club, and the Rise and Fall of Atlantic City

Download The Last Good Time: Skinny D'Amato, the Notorious 500 Club, and the Rise and Fall of Atlantic City epub

by Jonathan Van Meter




The Last Good Time is a richly layered epic that brings to life a fascinating place, its politics, people, and culture, through the portrait of one of Atlantic City’s most famous families—the powerful, flamboyant, and ultimately tragic D’Amatos. Paul “Skinny” D’Amato created and presided over the 500 Club, the celebrated supper club that entertained thousands of Americans and helped guide the careers of the great Rat Pack performers—Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra. Skinny was at the center of it all, hovering behind the scenes during the zenith of one of the world’s most notorious playgrounds.Veteran magazine writer Jonathan Van Meter captures the volatile history of twentieth-century Atlantic City—from the days of Prohibition and smoky speakeasies to the city’s heyday of imported Hollywood glamour and glitz after World War II; from the near demise of the resort in the 1970s to the city’s current era of legal “gaming” and dazzling high-tech hotel/casinos. Skinny D’Amato avoided the public eye whenever possible, though he was perhaps the most important person in the history of Atlantic City, where his nightclub served as the ultimate backroom for the big players of entertainment, politics, sports, and the Mob. Skinny is rarely acknowledged as part of the Rat Pack, but he was at the center of its creation, its mentor. It was Skinny who taught Sinatra how to hold a cigarette, tip big, be cool. He paired Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin for the first time at his 500 Club, and on any given night back in the 1950s and 1960s, you’d find Elizabeth Taylor, Toots Shor, the Gabor sisters, Joe DiMaggio, Milton Berle, Liberace, Grace Kelly, Nat King Cole, and just about every big player in the underworld hanging out by the bar or in the back rooms. Skinny was a link between politicians—including John F. Kennedy—entertainers, and the Mob and was the subject of constant surveillance by the FBI and tax investigators. Whether he was in the Mob or not, Skinny was the ultimate connected guy, a gentleman’s gentleman, a passionate gambler who had a special touch that brought bigpeople together so that they could have a good time.As Van Meter evokes the ever-evolving landscape of Atlantic City, he shows us how the D’Amato family, like other larger-than-life American families during the last century, experienced a changing wheel of fortune, seeing great moments of wealth, power, and personal attainment, as well as all manner of human tragedy. In the space of a few years, Skinny’s beloved wife, Bettyjane, died of a brain aneurysm at a relatively young age; the 500 Club burned to the ground; and, perhaps most devastating of all, his son, Angelo, was convicted of brutally murdering two people. With the last of the good times behind him, Skinny retreated to his Ventnor, New Jersey, mansion, taking his card game with him, emerging to see his Rat Pack friends, and, in the process, becoming a living symbol of how cool it all was once upon a time in America.Van Meter expertly renders one of the great untold tales of modern America, a character portrait of both an extraordinary time and place, and the Zelig-like man who hovered over it all. The Last Good Time is a classic tale of the whiskey-soaked dark side of America’s mid-century popular culture.From the Hardcover edition.
Download The Last Good Time: Skinny D'Amato, the Notorious 500 Club, and the Rise and Fall of Atlantic City epub
ISBN: 1400052971
ISBN13: 978-1400052974
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Arts & Literature
Author: Jonathan Van Meter
Language: English
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (2003)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1671 kb
FB2 size: 1257 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 263
Other Formats: rtf mbr txt doc

Kea
It was a lot of fun to read this book. As a result of a chance meeting with Skinny in 1962, Skinny came to Seattle and he and Bettyjane stayed with me for a week while they saw the Seattle worlds fair. Little did I know who I was entertaining for that week. This book added depth to my knowledge of the couple i spent time with that summer. It is a great book about a man that cannot be forgotten.
Uriel
Before there was legalized gambling, before there was a "Martin & Dean", before the Chairman of the Board did things his way, there was Paul "Skinny" D'Amato, the father of Atlantic City and owner of the 500 Club! Jonathan Van Meter certainly did his research for this amazing true tale of the creation of a city known as Atlantic in NJ. His subject, Skinny D'Amato was, by all accounts, a person destined to make his mark in the world...and he did! His story is captivating, filled with life's highs and lows and everything in between. The history of Atlantic City is seen through the eyes of those who lived there in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, providing the reader with a snapshot in time - one never to return, but certainly one to remember.
Iphonedivorced
Terrific, fascinating - extremely well written......even more interesting if you're from Philadelphia,knew Palumbo's and the Latin Casino and knew AC pre-legal casinos, during casino heyday and the current return to who knows what.......this is a legendary book about legends......soon to be re-released (I'm told) - perhaps with some updates......well done, Mr. Van Meter....well done.
Maximilianishe
great historical read.if your a history person like myself you will like
Rasmus
Love this book; a journey through a particular time in History that is filled with surprises and information on a little town and it's great treasure, THE FIVE HUNDRED CLUB.
Jay
This look into an era that is gone for good is fascinating. The real people who made Atlantic City the playground of the east coast were legends like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their dear friend Skinny D'amato. Skinny led a life that would make several movies. He was at the very top, the king of Atlantic City, but real life has a way of throwing curve balls, and his life was no exception. This is a fascinating book, and it is often hard to believe that it is fact, not fiction.
Sennnel
Very entertaining!!!! Great book that is an insider's view of life with "da boys", including Frank and Dean and others.
With the advent of Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City is once again an area of interest. The Last Good Time chronicles a period pertinent to history buffs. The 500 club was an integral part of AC's past - notorious and otherwise. Well written and packed with personalities, it is a must read.