A True Story That Reads Like "The Godfather" Crossed With "Citizen Kane"
"The National Enquirer is celebrated on the eve of its 60th anniversary by Pope's powerful biography of its creators, the family patriarchs. The book . . . sometimes reads like a straightforward Puzo sequel. . . . Crowded with presidents, celebrities, and mobsters, this bio of ambitious alpha males, in a dysfunctional clan worthy of a soap opera, is among the best portraits of Italian-American life to appear in some time."
—Publishers Weekly; also Named a Fall 2010 "Indie Sleeper Hit" by Publishers Weekly
“A richly detailed tale of businessmen, mobsters and politicians that reads like a soap opera written by Mario Puzo…. Pope provides engrossing stories about Il Progresso’s influence in New York and national elections, the long battle to win a place for the sensational Enquirer at supermarket checkouts and Gene’s tyrannical insistence on concocting gripping articles for the tabloid’s millions of readers…. Readable and revealing, and the vividly re-created scenes cry out for a film treatment.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"THE DEEDS OF MY FATHERS could well be subtitled, 'How the Pope Family Built Civilization in New York City, Saved Italy from Communism, and Made the Mob Sound Respectable.'. . . It is perhaps fitting that [it] reads like a story from the National Enquirer. It is fast-paced, titillating, and filled with provocative and entertaining information. It is part history and part action thriller for anyone interested in the social history of twentieth-century America.”
—John Michael Senger, ForeWord magazine
“The story of the century.”
—Nicholas Pileggi, author and screenwriter
"It's exciting to think about what gives a single newspaper so much power. . . . It was mob money that made Generoso Pope a leader in the city's building materials industry, and it was mob money that made his youngest son buy the New York Enquirer. . . . It's a treat to watch Gene Pope work his 100-hour weeks in the Enquirer's early days, keeping the office window open in case he needs to evade creditors. . . . The connection between these three generations . . . is strongly felt."--David Varno, Brooklyn Rail
"A sensational and irresistible story. . . . Fans of 'The Sopranos' have been waiting (without realizing it) for this multi-generational family saga, equal parts 'Medea' and 'The Godfather.'"
--John McFarland, Shelf Awareness
“Arguably the most successful Italian-American family ever to arrive on our shores….Reading this gripping book, I marveled at their achievements…. A true American saga.”
—Joe Pistone, the real-life Donnie Brasco
“Bravo to Paul Pope, who tried for years to find a big-name writer to pen the history of his family and the National Enquirer. All he really had to do was look in the mirror to find the best person for the job. Indeed, Paul has handled this tough assignment with considerable honesty and integrity, painting an important and even exciting portrait of his fascinating family and the remarkable tabloid-publishing empire they created. Say what you will about the National Enquirer, Paul Pope is a class act. His father would be proud.”
—Dan E. Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars
“From the sand pits of turn-of-the-century Long Island to its finale in the Florida newsroom of the National Enquirer, The Deeds of My Fathers chronicles the extraordinary journey of one Italian-American family and reveals a unique side of the immigrant dream. Horatio Alger, Jr., could never have imagined the Popes and their tabloid empire. Who better to tell the story than Paul Pope who makes good on his promise to let the chips fall where they may.” —Marion Meade, author of Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney
“This engrossing family drama recasts the classic American rags-to-riches immigrant story with an unflinching realism, holding a mirror to the New York of the mid-twentieth century—from the 1920s through the 1980s—as well as the Pope family itself and its unique role in creating today’s tabloid media world. This is an unusually well documented exploration of that seamy, dark intersection of media, politics, and organized crime that has produced so many American icons. A very good read.”
—Kenneth D. Ackerman, author of Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
“A true story that keeps you glued to the pages, learning about money, crime, power, and the love of many beautiful women. A real page-turner.”
“A fascinating ride into the subculture of organized crime. Through the legit businesses that the Pope family controlled—from construction to media—we see how their enterprises intersected with and were nurtured by mob boss Frank Costello, Generoso Pope’s lifelong friend and Gene Pope’s real-life godfather. It is a compelling saga, told bravely and with real candor.”
—Bob Delaney, author of Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob and highly decorated New Jersey State Trooper who worked undercover for three years within the Genovese and Bruno crime families
“The Deeds of My Fathers has it all: immigrants, moguls, presidents, Mafiosi, sex, success, loyalty, betrayal, and that most outrageous, scandalous, audacious and—as it turns out—imitated of media ventures, the National Enquirer. Contained in the pages of this multi-generational saga is the recipe for the great American Melting Pot: take one part Horatio Alger, mix with equal parts The Godfather and Citizen Kane, stir vigorously, and bring to a boil. Serve while hot. The results are deliciously entertaining and entirely enlightening. There isn’t a bland moment in this entire book.”
—Peter Quinn, author of The Man Who Never Returned
“With a scholar’s attention to good research and a novelist’s skill at crafting page-turning prose, Paul David Pope has delivered a gem. Much more than another successful immigrant tale, The Deeds of My Fathers gets to the heart of how business was often conducted in 20th Century America. And Pope’s father, Gene, and grandfather, Generoso, played in the big leagues, where iconic gangsters and shadowy white-collar crooks played hardball. The behind-the-headlines tales from the National Enquirer, which Gene Pope rescued from obscurity, are revelatory and worth the price alone. Anyone interested in American commercial, cultural and sociological history must own this book!”
—Gus Russo, author of The Outfit and Supermob
"Academic historians tend to explain major developments in terms of abstract forces like consumer demand, "grand" strategies, cultural conflict and technological change. Paul David Pope's The Deeds of My Fathers serves as a vivid and wonderfully readable reminder that the people who really made things happen saw the world in a way that was highly personal."
—William J. Connell, Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair in Italian Studies, Seton Hall University
"An absorbing and enthralling account of a major chapter of twentieth century United States history, one that cannot be ignored not only by historians of the Italian American experience, but also by the general public."--Salvatore J. LaGumina, Professor Emeritus, Nassau Community College