The Last Gangster by George Anastasia Avon Books $62 Anastasia's story about 'Big Ron' Previte and the real mafia gangster is a slightly saddening account of how times have changed. This book is about when the bad guys looked like bad guys - no fashion sense, Italianated accent, a weight problem that isn't called obesity - and greeted each other with hugs and kisses. Anastasia, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, was sent by the Philadelphia Inquirer to Atlantic City in 1976, when it opened up to casinos. So began his interest in the Philadelphia mob, one of the oldest in the US. He has a thesis for The Sopranos generation - 'the disintegration of a once highly efficient organisation [where] honour, loyalty and sense of family' have been replaced by 'greed, power and self-aggrandisement'. But he quickly gets down to the dirt. For two years, the FBI watched and listened. Hulking corrupt ex-cop Previte was their man for 50 arrests, wired for sound and playing for the cameras - in return for a free pass and US$1 million.