Far more than Elvis or Sinatra, both of whom idolized him, Dean Martin stands as the great mystery of superstardom. Flesh and fantasy, he is both a man of whom the world knows little and an image that has come to embody the holy trinity of America: flash, trash, and cash. The facts of his life are the stuff of myth. Born seventy-five years ago in Steubenville, Ohio, Dino Crocetti, an immigrant's son, came up the hard way. He pumped gas, worked in a steel mill, boxed, and dealt craps at a local mob joint before finally turning to singing. After two name changes and a nose job, he began an unparalleled rise to the heights of fame, wealth, and power, becoming the most popular all-around entertainer of his time. While his notoriety and fortune grew astoundingly, he withdrew more and more into the silence of seclusion, a darkness on the other side of fame. Yet even in his self-imposed exile, the legend, and enigma, of Dean Martin took on a force of their own. In Dino, Nick Tosches takes us on a mesmerizing, irreverent odyssey through American mob culture, through the hidden, the forbidden, and the dreamed-of places, telling the story of a rise against all odds; the glory of that rise and its dark side, too: the story of a man driven into his own shadow by fame and inner demons. Tosches spent years interviewing the characters and exploring the hell and paradise of an America that few besides Martin have known. From the gambling dens of corrupt steel towns to the glorious nightclub whirl and neon netherworlds of New York and Chicago, from the casinos of Las Vegas to the dream factories of Hollywood, Dino brings to life the sublime and sleazy vision at the heart of this century's soul. Here are vivid portraits of Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Jerry Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, and a host of infamous others, from Frank Costello to Mickey Cohen to Sam Giancana. Wild, illuminating, and strangely poetic, Dino is the epic tale of both one man's fate and that of the new world his forebears knew as l'America.