A Son's Memoir of Love,
Redemption and the Mob

by James M. La Rossa Jr.

Media & Reviews

Last of the Gladiators, a memoir by James LaRossa Jr., is a hot topic of discussion among dozens of media outlets, including NBC/WGNT Superstation Chicago, the San Francisco Review of books, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, the New York Daily News, The Crime Report, numerous topical blogs, and even public libraries around the country.

WorldCat Library Catalog

February 12, 2020

Google Book Reviews

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Book Depository

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NY Daily News – No, Trump doesn’t talk like a mobster

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PRIMO Magazine

February 6, 2020

Maryee Macdonald – Ten Questions for James M. La Rossa Jr.

February 6, 2020

The Crime Report Q&A

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Amazon Book Reviews

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MSN and NBC/WGNTV Chicago Superstation

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Barnes&Noble Book Review

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goodreads Book Review

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Booklist Online Book Review

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Kirkus Book Review

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San Francisco Book Review

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Preface

When James LaRossa visits his ailing father at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, what he finds is al but reassuring. His 77- year-old father, Jimmy, once a proud and successful defense attorney, lays weak and dying, hooked up to every machine and bag in the ICU. They both know Jimmy doesn’t have much time left, but James, the dutiful son, is resolved to make Jimmy’s remaining days on Earth as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. After months of planning and transforming his California home into a miniature hospital, James flies his father out to the West Coast where he can give Jimmy all the tender love and care he needs.

The LaRossas made the right call. Thanks to James’ own success and experience in medical publishing, the father-son duo can spend less time worrying about hospital staff and more time living the good life.   The two enjoy Jimmy’s favorite Italian meals, visit local beaches, and travel the world. While Jimmy’s line of work enabled him to provide for his family, it left very few chances for him to bond with his son. Now, decades later, they have the chance to make up for lost time.

As the author cares for his father over the next five years, he recounts the fascinating story of a man who seemed more like a secret agent than an attorney. Jimmy’s life is laid out in full from life in the marines to prosperous trial lawyer, and a generous but distant father.   What more, Jimmy dives into the film-worthy courtroom battles of his career, defending big-name Mafia bosses like Paul Castellano and dueling with New York’s top prosecutors.

Last of the Gladiator’s is more than a biography about the author’s father, perhaps the number one defense attorney of the twentieth century. It’s a journey of self-reflection for the author, who begins to come to terms with own mental illness and the effects it has on his own relationships. It’s a vivid portrait of a man who stood toe to toe with drug runners, crime lords, and corrupt politicians in twentieth century New York. But at its heart, it is a love story between a father and son that celebrates how, time and again, faith conquers all.

Last of the Gladiators, A Son’s Memoir, is now available from Bancroft Press in hard cover.

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Sample Chapters

Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Introduction: A Fly on the Wall

Introduction A Fly On The Wall “If your eyes could speak, what would they say?” —Markus Zusak, The Book Thief There exists a recurring theme in books and movies that some…
Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Chapter 1 – Call Me Ishmael

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” —Herman Melville, Moby Dick   So. I have spent much of my life trying to tease out the dissonance and…
Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Chapter 6 – Giglio

“Oyez, oyez, oyez! All persons having business before the honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the court is…

Vignettes

Vignettes
February 26, 2020

First Person: Remembering Bobby Kennedy

I was eight years old the first time I saw my father cry. His former boss, Robert Kennedy, had been assassinated earlier that day. Even as a boy, I could…
Vignettes
February 6, 2019

Celebrities/People of Note in Last of the Gladiators

“Earlier that year, after missing my ride, I was hitchhiking home from school in downtown Greenwich when two golf-attired guys driving a Rolls-Royce sedan gave me an eight-mile ride right…
Vignettes
January 20, 2019

On Leaving NYC

When born and bred New Yorkers permanently leave New York City, they spend a good chunk of the rest of their lives asking themselves why they ever left. And so…

Contact

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