- 7,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
"Reppetto's book earns its place among the best . . . he brings fresh context to a familiar story worth retelling." —The New York Times Book Review
Organized crime—the Italian American kind—has long been a source of popular entertainment and legend. Now Thomas Reppetto provides a balanced history of the Mafia's rise—from the 1880s to the post-WWII era—that is as exciting and readable as it is authoritative.
Structuring his narrative around a series of case histories featuring such infamous characters as Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, Reppetto draws on a lifetime of field experience and access to unseen documents to show us a locally grown Mafia. It wasn't until the 1920s, thanks to Prohibition, that the Mafia assumed what we now consider its defining characteristics, especially its octopuslike tendency to infiltrate industry and government. At mid-century the Kefauver Commission declared the Mafia synonymous with Union Siciliana; in the 1960s the FBI finally admitted the Mafia's existence under the name La Cosa Nostra.
American Mafia is a fascinating look at America's most compelling criminal subculture from an author who is intimately acquainted with both sides of the street.
Reppetto's history of the American Mafia, from its humble turn-of-the-century beginnings in small Italian neighborhoods to the 1950 1951 Senate's Kefauver hearings on organized crime that made the mob front-page news, seeks to set the record straight about one of America's most mysterious organizations. Though Reppetto, a former cop, acknowledges that the American Mafia was an outgrowth of the Sicilian and Neapolitan criminal guilds, he finds only a loose connection between the American Mafia and its old country counterparts. Citing the bad business practices of killers like Al Capone, Reppetto makes it clear that it was the mob's political ties, especially to the Tammany groups in Manhattan and the mayor's office in Chicago, and not murder and mayhem, that made rich men of many Italians (as well as Poles, Irishmen and Jews) who came to America with nothing. Without condoning their tactics, Reppetto makes a strong case that the men who laid the foundation for a national "syndicate" were empire builders along the lines of the Astors and Vanderbilts, and that the Mafia's decline since the 1950s is as much a reflection of the lack of new, strong mob leadership as it is a result of less political protection and a federal crackdown that stemmed from the mob's newfound notoriety. Though this book doesn't answer every question about the Mafia in America, it does present a thought-provoking depiction of the mob devoid of the sensationalism prevalent in many other portrayals.