|About the Book|
In her glory days -- the pivotal decades from Prohibition to the Jet Age -- Atlantic City was the nations center of popular entertainment. Celebrities and tourists flocked to Americas Playground while political corruption, illegal gambling,MoreIn her glory days -- the pivotal decades from Prohibition to the Jet Age -- Atlantic City was the nations center of popular entertainment. Celebrities and tourists flocked to Americas Playground while political corruption, illegal gambling, bootlegging, and prostitution were all sanctioned as part of the Atlantic City experience.Chance of a Lifetime explores the heyday of this resort -- a time when real-life excesses strain even the wildest imaginations and outrageous characters made it all happen. It is the time and place where American Cool was born, it was the first home of the Rat Pack and a haven where a down-and-out Frank Sinatra was always welcome -- and never forgot it.Beginning with the early attractions of the resort island, then exploring the power base of boss Nucky Johnson and later Skinny DAmato and his famed 500 Club -- a venue that encapsulated everything good, bad, and fun about the resort town -- we are given a nostalgic tour of the good-bad old days.This intimate and personal account of the city, the club and the famous and infamous people who passed through is told by insider Grace Anselmo DAmato, whose husband managed the 500 Club for his brother Skinny. The reader can almost imagine sitting in a zebra-print booth at the old Five when she drops by to tell the storied history of this 20th-century playground by the sea. The book includes a foreword by the noted Atlantic City historian Vicki Gold Levi, who recounts her experiences as a teenager at the Five at its height in the 50s.Chance of a Lifetime is extensively illustrated with 178 rare pictures of celebrity, 500 Club, and historic Atlantic City images specially printed on 96 gallerypages -- with additional images throughout the text.In a place where more people came for sin than sun, Chance of a Lifetime details the rise and fall, and rise again, of Atlantic Citys glorious glitz and guts.