Sunday, December 27, 2009

Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth, and Power-- A Dispatch From the Beach

Crime, Wealth, and Power — A Dispatch From the Beach
By Gerald Posner
Illustrated. 454 pp. Simon & Schuster. $27

"One has two thoughts upon picking up Gerald Posner’s new book, “Miami Babylon.” One: The title is redundant. There are those, after all, who might argue that with the exception of Las Vegas, there is no American city as deeply silly as Miami — silliness as measured in tales of corruption, cocaine, bouncing bikinis, pastel pawnshops and breakneck hedonism. Washington has the cool President Obama, New York the technocratic Mayor Bloomberg and media barons like Rupert Murdoch. Who personifies Miami? Tony Montana? Crockett and Tubbs?

"A second thought is that Posner, the respected author of “Case Closed,” the book that (just about) put an end to Kennedy assassination theories, is slumming a bit here, which is fine. Everyone deserves a weekend in South Beach from time to time, and as it turns out, Posner is an able chronicler of the slummier side of South Florida. What interests him most is the story — and it’s a pretty good one — of how South Beach rose from the wreckage that was 1970s-era Miami Beach.

"The book begins in 1980 with a concise..."


No comments: