The Italian-American mafia has its roots in a mysterious and powerful criminal network in Sicily. While the mythology of the mafia has been widely celebrated in American culture, the true origins of its rituals, laws, and methods have never actually been revealed. John Dickie uses startling new research to expose the secrets of the Sicilian mafia, providing a fascinating account that is more violent, frightening, and darkly comic than anything conceived in popular movies and novels. How did the Sicilian mafia begin? How did it achieve its powerful grip in Italy and America? How does it operate today? From the mafia's origins in the 1860s to its current tense relationship with the Berlusconi government, Cosa Nostra takes us to the inner sanctum where few have dared to go before. This is an important work of history and a revelation for anyone who ever wondered what it means to be "made" in the mob.
Consulting rare archival sources, Salvatore Lupo traces the web of associations, both illicit and legitimate, that have defined the Sicilian Mafia from 1860 to the present. He focuses on several crucial periods of transformation: the Italian unification of 1860 and 1861, the murder of noted politician Notarbartolo, the fascist repression of the Mafia, the Allied invasion of 1943, the social conflicts that followed each world war, and the major murders and trials of the 1980s. Lupo clarifies the Mafia's cultural codes and situates them within social groups and communities. He also refutes the notion that the Mafia has grown more ruthless in recent decades. Rather than representing a shift from "honorable" crime to immoral drug trafficking and violence, Lupo argues the terroristic activities of the modern Mafia signify a new desire for visibility and a distinct break from the state.
What is it about Tony Soprano that makes him so amiable? For that matter, how is it that many of us secretly want Scarface to succeed or see Michael Corleone as, ultimately, a hero? What draws us into the otherwise horrifically violent world of the mafia? In The Mafia, Roberto M. Dainotto explores the irresistible appeal of this particular brand of organized crime, its history, and the mythology we have developed around it. Dainotto traces the development of the mafia from its rural beginnings in Western Sicily to its growth into a global crime organization alongside a parallel examination of its evolution in music, print, and on the big screen. He probes the tension between the real mafia—its violent, often brutal reality—and how we imagine it to be: a mythical potpourri of codes of honor, family values, and chivalry. But rather than dismiss our collective imagining of the mafia as a complete fiction, Dainotto instead sets out to understand what needs and desires or material and psychic longing our fantasies about the mafia—the best kind of the bad life—are meant to satisfy. Exploring the rich array of films, books, television programs, music, and even video games portraying and inspired by the mafia, this book offers not only a social, economic, and political history of one of the most iconic underground cultures, but a new way of understanding our enduring fascination with the complex society that lurks behind the sinister Omertà of the family business.
BLOOD BROTHERHOODS is the enthralling new history of Italian organised crime, by the author of the international bestseller COSA NOSTRA. The Sicilian mafia, or Cosa Nostra, is far from being Italy's only dangerous criminal fraternity. The south of the country hosts two other major mafias: the camorra, from Naples and its hinterland; and the 'ndrangheta, the mafia from the poor and isolated region of Calabria that has now risen to become the most powerful mob of all. Each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity and corruption. Their early history is little known; indeed some of it has been entirely shrouded in myth and silence until now. BLOOD BROTHERHOODS is a book of breathtaking ambition, charting the birth and rise of all three of Italy's mafias. It blends ground-breaking archival research, passionate narrative, and shrewd historical analysis to bring Italy's unique 'criminal ecosystem', and the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that evolved within it, to life on the page.
Written in non-specialist language, An Economic History of Organized Crime provides an original overview of a crucial problem of our times: the growing scourge of global organized crime. This book can be read with profit by the general public, but it also has value for academic specialists and professionals in law enforcement.
Despite depictions to the contrary, the mafia is not a cadre of noble and righteous warriors, a class of citizens working in the shadows but upholding traditional values. Instead, the authors argue, it is a brutal, violent, and ignoble organization that ultimately violates the boundaries of acceptable behavior both within the family and without.
Research Paper from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: -, -, language: English, abstract: Nowadays the word 'Mafia' refers nearly all groups or gangs involved in organized crime. However, originally, Mafia meant an organized criminal organization of Italian, predominantly Sicilian, heritage. In fact, this word is a mere literary creation while the real name is 'Cosa Nostra' meaning 'our thing'. For many years the common understanding of the Mafia was strictly limited by argument on whether there even was a Mafia. In the recent decades that argument was more or less settled, and the principal argument remaining is whether or not organized crime and the Mafia are one and the same thing. According to Finckenauer: To this end, this useful primer to the phenomenon quite rightly tarts with a simple question that begs a complex answer: what is organized crime? Sometimes, the mobsters are easy to identify, a collection of ne'er-do-wells with no visible source of income but owning flashy cars and homes; involved in the staples of organized criminality, whether trafficking drugs or infiltrating legitimate businesses. The old stereotypes, which were always something of a caricature, are becoming even less applicable in the modern world. [...] In part the confusion revolves around an understanding of the real nature of organized crime that existed since the earliest days of the nation and, indeed, earlier. It is worth remembering that, organized crime achieves its status not only by the fact of groups of practitioners, but also due to the fact that organized crime is syndicate crime in which certain activities are apportioned out to the various gangs and honored in the main by these gangs. What is interesting, in the beginning and even till the 1950s, many people regarded the Mafia not as law-breaking criminals but as role-models and protectors of the weak and the poor, as the state offered no protection to the lower cla
This is the first comprehensive reference work in English dedicated to the writing of world-famous Italian mystery writer Andrea Camilleri. It includes entries on plots, characters, dates, literary motifs, and themes from the bestselling author’s detective stories and television crime dramas, with special attention given to the serialized policeman Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Camilleri’s most famous character. It also equips the reader with background information on Camilleri’s life and career and provides a guide to the writings of reviewers and critics.
Seminar paper from the year 1999 in the subject Politics - Political Theory and the History of Ideas Journal, grade: 98, erg International School - Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (Department for Political Science), course: Seminar 'Terrorism', 23 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In this paper I make the claim that the Cosa Nostra is not only an organised crime syndicate, but in deed a terrorist organisation; an organisation who's acts are aimed to safeguard a political system which is beneficial to them for reasons of power accumulation in more than just the criminal or financial sense. Even though I refer specifically to the Cosa Nostra of Sicily, I will try and formulate a definition of this type of terrorism that might help us understand the actions of other organisations, called 'Mafia' in various places around the world. I feel strongly that only when we understand the political side of 'Organised Crime' will we stand a chance to counter this ever rising threat to democracy. Italy, as an extreme case, can help clarify tendencies already observed in Post-Cold War Russia, and other places.
Describes the origins and history of the Cosa Nostra, beginning in 1863 Sicily and moving to Prohibition Era America, discussing the formation of the mafia families and the most famous legendary criminals.