Thursday, March 15, 2007

Early reviews and endorsements

“Deep Water is a memorable reading experience. It is both a vivid down-to-earth description of ante- and post-bellum New Orleans, and also significant history, with colorful documents and episodes from the lives of ordinary people. Once you start reading it, it is hard to put down. The denouement, the murder of Joseph Macheca in the midst of a mass lynching, has never before been told so closely from Macheca business records. This book will force a reassessment of a famous event in the history of American organized crime.”

- Peter Dale Scott
Author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.

“An excellent, meticulously detailed ... account of the birth of the American Mafia and a wonderful study of New Orleans from the Civil War/Reconstruction periods up through the famous mass lynching. Macheca comes across as a fascinating rogue. Deep Water ... shows a marvelous objectivity and a close analytical reportage based on the best available evidence.”

- Rick Mattix
Editor of On the Spot Journal.
“...Through a combination of historical records and family lore, the authors trace Macheca's rise to successful merchant while concurrently describing the political and social changes in New Orleans in the last half of the 19th Century... [A] convincing analysis of the inextricability of organized crime and local politics”

- Kirkus Discoveries

“...Couldn’t put it down...Bravo! It is brilliant work. Working with a tightly woven fabric of injustice, you have objectively and meticulously unstitched the legend for truth, as honestly as possible. Congratulations to you both for this wonderful contribution to Louisiana and American history.”

- Julie Eshelman-Lee
Louisiana historian

“ ... The book centers very much around the life of J. P. Macheca and his ... career in New Orleans. I found it all very interesting and informative. I was also happy to see my own prejudice confirmed: the Hennessy murder emerges out the turbid racial and political situation in the city ... I was impressed by how much information you got a hold of.”

- James Fentress
Author of Rebels and Mafiosi.

“Deep Water is excellent. You really did your homework. ...The Macheca history is terrific... I am impressed on how you got to the meat of the Battle of Liberty Place and the Burke affair. You took two complex subjects and explained them concisely... I really enjoyed it.”

-Doug Casey
Louisiana historian.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Booksigning in Crescent City on April 17

NEW ORLEANS, March 7, 2007 — Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, coauthors of the biography "Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia," will appear at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans next month to discuss and sign copies of their book. 

"Deep Water" captures the life and times of the 19th Century New Orleans businessman and gang leader considered by many to be the "godfather" of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil. The book answers at last the many questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent lynchings, in which Macheca lost his life. The book is published by iUniverse, Inc., of Lincoln, NE. Additional information is available through 1-800-AUTHORS. 

Mr. Hunt is an organized crime historian who resides in New Milford, CT, with his wife and their three chldren. Ms. Sheldon is a native of St. Louis, MO, a descendant of the Macheca Line, and an authority on her family history. 

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, between 5 and 7 p.m. The Garden District Book Shop is located in the historic Rink property at 2727 Prytania Street.