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Download Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth, and Power—A Dispatch from the Beach Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth, and Power—A Dispatch from the Beach, by Gerald Posner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (47 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gerald Posner Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From its beginnings in the 1890s, Miami Beach has been a place made by visionaries and hustlers. During Prohibition, Al Capone had to muscle into its bootlegging and gambling businesses. After December 1941, when the Beach was the training ground for half a million army recruits, even the war couldn’t stop the party. After a short postwar boom, the city’s luck gave out. The big hotels went bankrupt, the crime rate rose, and the tourists moved on to Disney World and the Caribbean. Even after the Beach hosted both national political conventions in 1972, nobody would have imagined that this sandy backwater of run-down hotels and high crime would soon become one of the country’s most important cultural centers.

But in 1981, 125,000 Cubans arrived by the boatload. The empty streets of South Beach, lined with dilapidated hotels, were about to be changed irrevocably by the culture of money that moved in behind cocaine and crime. Gerald Posner takes us inside the intertwined lives of the politicians, financiers, nightclub owners, and real estate developers who have fed the Beach’s unquenchable desire for wealth, flash, and hype: the German playboy who bought the entire tip of South Beach with $100 million of questionable money; the mayoral candidate who said, “If you can’t take their money, drink their liquor, mess with their women, and then vote against them, you aren’t cut out for politics”; the Staten Island thug who became king of the South Beach nightclubs and, when his empire unraveled, saved himself by testifying against the mob; the campaign manager who calls himself the “Prince of Darkness” and got immunity from prosecution in a fraud case by cooperating with the FBI against his colleagues; and the former Washington, DC, developer who played hardball with city hall and became the Beach’s first black hotel owner.

From the mid-level coke dealers and their suitcases of cash to the questionable billions that financed the ocean-view condo towers, the Beach has seen it all. Posner’s singular report tells the real story of how this small urban beach community was transformed into a world-class headquarters for American culture within a generation. It is a story built by dreamers and schemers—and a steroid-injected cautionary tale.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Noel Kelly | 2/4/2011

    " I gave up on this book. While the first third was interesting inasmuch as it dealt with the founding of Miami Beach and subsequent events up to the eighties, thereafter the narrative became mired in the minutiae of developers and their travails. I would not recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mike Moskos | 12/28/2010

    " While the local Miami press didn't care for this book 'cause they didn't like the muckraking portrayal of Miami/South Beach, it was fascinating to hear the inside story of how South Beach was re-made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom Hamrick | 10/8/2010

    " it may be for my love of all things Miami but i really love this book, it also had me writing down places to see when im in Miami next "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Katherine | 9/8/2010

    " I found the first half of the book pretty engaging. I lost interest in the middle when it seemed to digress into the politics of the Art Deco revitalization and a cataloging of the real estate transactions on Miami Beach. "

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