Want to learn more about the late John Gotti?

These books will provide a detailed and fascinating look into the life of America's most notorious mob boss. From his rise in organized crime to his downfall, you'll get an up-close and personal view of the man himself. There are also explorations of the inner workings of 'the mafia' as well as interviews with people who knew him best — both inside and outside law enforcement.

Get ready for a wild ride through Gotti’s life story, one that is full of danger, power, loyalty, betrayal, and a larger-than-life attitude that has inspired countless movies over the years. This is your chance to go beyond what you've seen in pop culture and explore these essential reads firsthand!

Keep reading to check out these great books on John Gotti!

Looking for the perfect book to get lost in? Check out the selection below! Each book has been carefully chosen independently, and all opinions in this article are my own. Just a heads up, Reading Rhapsody could make money from sales or other compensation through any of the links on this page if you purchase something – that’s how I keep afloat! My reviews have been tweaked to ensure they are both concise and clear. Now go ahead and begin your journey to find your next favorite read!

How I Choose

It can be tough to find a good book on the mafia that's worth reading.

There are a lot of books about the mafia out there, but not all of them are worth your time.

I've done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the 6 best books on John Gotti based on reviews from experts and readers like you.

Gotti: Rise and Fall

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Why I love It!

What I love about this book is that it is the complete, uncensored story of John Gotti. It tells the real story of a man who rose from poverty to the top of New York's most notorious crime family, the Gambino.

For all its grit and gritty violence, it's also a very well-written book, with lots of detail, and it really captures the essence of this mobster's rise and fall. I'm not sure if it will be my favorite book about a mobster, but I really like it!

Another thing I love about this book is that it tells us all about how the Gambino crime family works and how it deals with its rivals. This is not something you see in many other mobster films, and it's very interesting to read about the way that the Gambino family works.

I'm not going to go into detail about it here because it's really too much of a spoiler for you, but just know that the Gambino family is very powerful and they aren't afraid to kill. It's a scary world that they live in, and it's not always a fun place to be!

What you should know

This book dives deeply into Gotti's rise to power as well as his eventual downfall. It offers insights into the inner workings of the criminal underworld from two well-respected crime reporters with years of experience on the beat. This well-researched book has often been praised as one of the most balanced and accurate depictions of John Gotti’s career and personal life. Aside from its comprehensive accounts of successes and failures in business attempts, it also shines a light on his wife, children, and close associates, offering juicy tidbits that make it even more captivating than ever. All in all, this book provides a refreshingly realistic look at the tumultuous life of a man about whom much mystique still surrounds him today.

Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires

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Why I love It!

It’s no secret that New York City is home to some of the world’s finest mafia families. It’s also no secret that some of these mobster hordes have managed to keep a lid on their crimes by some means or another, and that their influence extends to both law enforcement and the media. In Five Families, Selwyn Raab takes a close look at the who’s who of the Big Apple’s crime families while examining their various strengths and weaknesses as well as what it took to keep them on the straight and narrow.

I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as I’ve got a few posts in the works on the topic of this book, but let me say that the best part of this 750-page tome was the sheer amount of information packed into its pages. In fact, I found myself re-reading many of the more technical and lengthy passages to ensure I wasn’t missing any of the finer points that were omitted from the main body of the text. I was also impressed by the author’s attention to detail, a trait that is often lacking in today’s mass media.

What you should know

This book gives a comprehensive overview of the structure and development of the most influential mafia families in America. It provides great insight into how these crime organizations worked, as well as describes John Gotti's rise to power and eventual downfall. Readers will gain a better understanding of how these organizations functioned, their relationships with one another, and the tactics they used to stay ahead of law enforcement. Furthermore, it offers readers an in-depth look at John Gotti himself: his personal life, his criminal career, and his struggle to remain relevant in the underworld.

The Gotti Wars

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Why I love It!

I love Gotti Wars because it covers the dramatic and fascinating story of how the FBI worked to take down one of America's most notorious mobsters in a fast-paced, dramatic style that is sure to keep the reader hooked from start to finish. Federal prosecutor Gleeson chronicles all of the intense legal battles between Gotti and the federal government throughout his criminal career. It also includes interviews with high-level government sources who had direct knowledge of the investigations into Gotti and his organization. This unique account provides invaluable insight into one man's life and the powerful forces at work in organized crime on both a crime drama and a real-life level - making it one of my favorite books on John Gotti!

What you should know

Written by a former federal prosecutor Gleeson, this book gives a detailed insight into Gotti as he faced sentencing in court, shedding light on his criminal enterprises around the country and his organization's secret codes and customs. This fascinating book also contains interviews with several of Gotti's associates who witnessed his deeds firsthand, creating a vivid and gripping story that can't be found anywhere else.

It surely needs to be included on any “best books” list about John Gotti. John Gleeson tells his readers about one of the most notorious mafia cases ever conducted. Written by a former federal prosecutor that worked on the case, it offers a unique context to better understand what happened to the mob boss and his inner circle. Readers can discover how close they were to take down one of America's most infamous mobsters as well as gain valuable insight into efforts by law enforcement to maintain organized crime rings around New York City.

Shadow of My Father

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Why I love It!

The book "Shadow of My Father" by John A. Gotti is a compelling and captivating read. It offers an insider’s peek into the life of one of America's most notorious Mafia bosses – his father, the late John Gotti. As both a son and an observer, Gotti manages to create a vivid portrait of both his father’s defiance as well as his vulnerability as a man disturbed by contradictions between loyalty to family and respect for lawfulness. His writing is emotive and powerful; he movingly conveys all phases of life with the vivacity that only someone so close to the source can have. Furthermore, it includes details about the internal workings of organized crime that are typically offered up only in classic gangster dramas from Hollywood. All in all, Shadow of My Father remains one of my favorite books on John Gotti and paints an intricate picture that you won't soon forget.

What you should know

The book offers readers an intimate look into the life of one of the most recognizable names in crime and law enforcement history. It examines how a single man’s influence touched the lives of thousands, from everyday citizens to notorious underworld figures and celebrities alike. Probing hard truths with journalistic integrity, Gotti's son explores his father’s charitable works as well as his powerful, almost mythical abilities when negotiating deals or devising operations for "the mob." This work stands out as not only being informative but also thoughtful in its ability to capture all sides of this complex and extraordinary life.

Why I love It!

One of the things I love about the book is that it focuses on life outside of John Gotti's infamous career. It details both his rise to power as well as his eventual fall. The unique thing about this book is how it delves into Gotti's personal relationships, including those with Junior Gotti and John Alite. Readers learn how these relationships influenced his decisions and cemented just how important loyalty was to him. Additionally, Anastasia offers thorough documentation of key events in their lives, backed up by extensive research; it challenges the notion that power comes at any cost. It is a captivating tale and an essential read for anyone who wants to get a deeper insight into John Gotti's life and legacy.

What you should know

You'll get a behind-the-scenes view of how John Gotti rose to power and how his inner circle was shaped throughout his storied career. Anastasia puts all the evidence together in this comprehensive volume to give readers a full picture of this major figure in organized crime. Despite the decades-old stories, Anastasia finds more to examine, providing intriguing insights into the structure and legacy of one of America's most notorious criminal enterprises. Whether you are a history buff looking for a more detailed exploration of Gotti's world or simply intrigued by notorious mobster lore, this book has something for everyone.

Gotti's Boys: The Mafia Crew That Killed for John Gotti

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Why I love It!

This nonfiction book shines an investigative light on the inner workings of the Gambino Crime Family and its notorious leader, giving readers a firsthand look at what life was like in those chaotic times. With DeStefano’s thorough research, readers can understand how John Gotti rose to power from his humble beginnings as a street thug and why he had so much influence on the American criminal underworld.

Each chapter provides insight into different aspects of Gotti's criminal enterprise and what eventually caused it to collapse. Rife with revelations about key players in the Gambino family and their relationships with one another, this book introduces new evidence that sheds light on some of the most notorious gangster cases in US history.

What you should know

This book provides valuable insight into how the Gambino family crime boss created his criminal empire and relied on a select few “Gotti’s boys” to carry out his orders. It chronicles the ill-fated lives of these crew members—their rise to power as well as their subsequent demise. It also delves into accounts from law enforcement, family members, and those close to the crew itself, providing readers with a glimpse into the world of organized crime during this time period.

The right book for you!

If you want to learn more about one of America's most notorious mobsters, then check out these books about John Gotti. You'll get an inside look at John Gotti's life and how he rose to power within the Gambino crime family. Each book offers a different perspective, so you can choose which one you think will be most interesting to you. Whatever book you choose, you will undoubtedly learn something new about this fascinating subject.

Happy Reading!

FAQs about John Gotti

Who was John Gotti?

John Gotti was an infamous Italian-American mobster and the head of the Gambino crime family. He gained notoriety in the 1980s as a powerful and ruthless gangster who evaded prosecution.

What crimes did he commit? 

Gotti committed a variety of offenses including murder, racketeering, bribery, extortion, and loan sharking. He was ultimately convicted of murder in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison.

What other activities did Gotti engage in?

In addition to his criminal activities, Gotti also owned several legitimate businesses including a construction company, a flower shop, and a limousine service. He was also involved with charity work such as providing Christmas toys for children in New York City.

What books have been written about him?

The best books about John Gotti include "Gangster: The Rise and Fall of John Gotti" by Gene Mustain, "The Last Godfather: The Rise and Fall of John Gotti" by Shana Alexander, "Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite Jr., Formerly of the Gambino Crime Family" by George Anastasia, and "Chief Feds vs. Teflon Don: US v. John Gotti" by Thomas M. Delaney.

What other resources can I use to learn more about Gotti?

Aside from books, there are a number of documentaries and films based on or inspired by his life such as "Gotti", “Growing Up Gotti” and “Witness to the Mob” that can give viewers an insight into the mob boss’s life.

Who was John Miller?

John Miller was a defense witness for John Gotti in the infamous "Teflon Don" trial of the late 1980s, and yet despite being a defense witness Gotti intimidated him, he still testified truthfully.

What significance did this case have?

Gotti's murder conviction marked the end of an era where organized crime had been rampant and showed that justice can prevail no matter how powerful someone thinks they are.

What role did attorney Rudy Giuliani play in the conviction of Gotti?

Rudy Giuliani was part of the team that convicted Gotti and was instrumental to his success.

What educational background do these key players have?

John Miller attended the York University School of Law as well as the New York University School of Law, while Paul Castellano, who was allegedly murdered on orders from Gotti, attended Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Attorney General Bill Bar has also commented on the historic significance of not just Gotti's reign – but also his murder conviction.

Why is this case so significant?

This case is significant because it marked the end of an era where organized crime had been rampant in some parts of America and it showed that justice can prevail no matter how powerful someone thinks they are.