Americana: Better Late Than Never

"Grow old along with me!" said Robert Browning's Rabbi Ben Ezra. "The best is yet to be." Meyer Lansky, 75, the Russian-born Methuselah of the underworld, once directed Murder, Inc., held the Mafia franchise for Havana and brought organized gambling to the Bahamas; but he has survived all to become a little old Miami Beach senior citizen. Now he lives quietly, Lansky told a visitor from the Miami News, enjoying a complete absence of memory ("There is no such thing as organized crime"). What does he do with his spare time? Well, he reads: "Lately, philosophy—just now I'm reading Spinoza." One...

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