Divine Providence: The Mayor, The Mob, and the Man in the Middle

The friend of a conqueror is but the last victim…”

 Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire

During the 70s and 80s, Providence experienced the demise of one empire and the rise of a new one. They both bore the outward veneer of honor and respectability. One criminal at its core, the other did a better job of concealing its genuine nature.

In 1970, perhaps the most powerful man in Rhode Island, with influence extending far beyond the borders of the state and even New England, was Raymond L.S. Patriarca. Respected within Organized Crime by more than just those who worked for him, many considered him a man of honor in an organization with a warped sense of the concept.

But he made no bones about what he was. He ran the family with a ruthless intensity masked by neighborhood generosity and concern for his domain, Federal Hill. All knew him as “the old man,” with a smile and a wave for most and a disdainful look for the cops and prosecutors who targeted him and his organization.

But like all things, after attaining the height of control within the organization, he began the inevitable decline until his death in 1984.

While the Patriarca legacy was reaching its zenith, an unknown phenomenon entered the scene. An up-and-coming lawyer—with a penchant for flair, a quick wit, and an uncontainable ego—began his own rise to prominence in Providence.

A man who, in that unique Rhode Island way, as an assistant Attorney General, once prosecuted Raymond Patriarca.

His ability to draw people to him, to gain their loyalty, brought him from the small city of Providence to the national stage of the Republican National convention where Gerald Ford considered him for the position of his Vice-President running mate.

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci began his rise to legendary status as a prosecutor, then turned his sights on politics. As the “old man” faded, “Buddy” began his rise.

The smallest state in the union offers every Rhode Islander unique access to the inner workings of the state. Almost to a person, the people of Rhode Island knew who “Raymond” and “Buddy” were with no need for a last name.

Many, if not most, had a story of encountering one or both men. Yet few people penetrated the inner circle of both empires.

Except for one man.

Pat Cortellessa—businessman, club-owner, entrepreneur, politician — is one of the few who rubbed shoulders with the wiseguys in joint businesses, worked alongside Buddy for mutual benefit until Buddy decided Pat was no longer useful, opposed Buddy in runs for the office of Mayor, and lived to tell the story.

Divine Providence: The Mayor, The Mob, and the Man in the Middle is the story few have ever heard, taking you inside the backroom deals, shady operations, and blood politics that was the Patriarca and Cianci eras.

Pre-order coming soon. Look for more announcements on sales, books signings, and media appearances.


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One thought on “Divine Providence: The Mayor, The Mob, and the Man in the Middle

  1. Sounds like an interesting account of the corrupt era of the 80s-90s in Providence, that in many ways foretold current events in Washington DC. Must buy!

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