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Blood Brotherhoods: The Rise of the Italian Mafias

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The Sicilian mafia is far from being Italy's most powerful and 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 of Calabria. In this book John Dickie studies Italy's less well known - but equally dark - brotherhoods of crime.
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Sceptre (first published 2011)
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Aug 20, 2012 Solor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a little too ambitious in its effort to tackle so much research in one work; on the other end the book tries out a systematic comparative analyses of organized crime in the 'Bel Paese'.
Admittedly Cosa Nostra A History of the Sicilian Mafia was a more thorough work. But, yet, I am looking forward to the second installment; 'Mafia Republic'.
Liam Delahunty
Feb 09, 2012 Liam Delahunty rated it really liked it
Only the book petering out stopped this getting five stars. I'd recomend this to anyone with a interest in true crime, the Mafia or Italian history.
Sep 08, 2016 Roger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe
As any reader of my blog may have surmised, Italian organized crime is a reading interest of mine. I've reviewed both Midnight in Sicily and Mafia Republic in the last couple of years; the latter work also by Dickie, covering the history of organized crime in Italy since World War Two. Mafia brotherhoods is Dickie's history of the three main criminal societies from their birth up until the War. It is a highly engaging book, packed with incident and characters, based on sound scholarship.

Dickie e
An absorbing although at times depressing history of the three notorious criminal "brotherhoods" that emerged from Southern Italy in the second half of the Nineteenth Century, depressing because the book outlines the extent to which these organisations infiltrated the administration of the Italian state and all too frequently made themselves immune to justice.

The book covers the period from about 1850 to 1944 and is concerned only with Italy. The author explains that the history of the Mafia in
Matthew Calamatta
Sep 23, 2016 Matthew Calamatta rated it it was amazing
Unification of Italy, prison economies and power structures explode out into Naples; the mountain communities of Calabria birth the 'ndrangheta, the lemon groves and noble grounds of Palermo solidify the Mafia; three secret societies, very structured, absolutely a systematic conspiracy. despite this, continous failures to combat and recognize them as such; ill-willed and ignorant obfuscation as a southern state of mind; up to 1943, when the Americans come and with their massive stores give birth ...more
Πέτρος Παπαγεωργίου
I found the book very informative and certainly a lot of research has gone into it. The style of writing I found a little "dry", I'm not sure I can put my finger on it, but at times it seemed a little naive...

But there is one thing that made a great impression on me from the start. Reading about the Mafia brotherhoods and essentially the way a large part of Italian society "works" I was reminded very much of Greece, where I live. Only here we don't have (as far as I know) organised crime rings a
Lauren Albert
Jun 24, 2014 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-european
I learned something I certainly didn't know before--that there were 3 Italian Mafias. Dickie does a good job describing their rise and (for some of them) their falls. He explains what made them so powerful and difficult to uproot. He shows the connection between fascism and the Mafia. He also shows the cultural differences between them.
Apr 07, 2013 Jankaaaaaaaaaaa rated it it was amazing
One of the best organised crime documental revelations, which describes how the secret blood fraternities work. A lot of peculiar rituals in the blood brotherhoods and dynastic webs trough the Italian judicial system are described, giving a wide look in the Italian history. The book is excellent and recommended for people who like the science of law, ceime or politics.
Paul Retkwa
Aug 04, 2014 Paul Retkwa rated it really liked it
The version I have is a collection of two books: Mafia Brotherhoods and Mafia Republic. The 2014 version of this book apparently is a conflation of them both for America, as opposed to the smaller British version that's all I can find on Goodreads thus far.
Jessica Spiegel
Mar 14, 2015 Jessica Spiegel rated it it was amazing
Fantastic & fascinating book. It's a gripping history, eminently readable, & should be required reading for anyone who loves Italy.
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“French rule brought a whole series of innovations in the way the Kingdom was run. Out went feudalism, and in came private property. Out went a messy assemblage of local customs, baronial and church jurisdictions, and public ordinances: in came a new code of civil law and the beginnings of a police force. The southern part of the Italian peninsula began to resemble a modern, centralised state.” 1 likes
“The camorra turned the needs and rights of their fellow prisoners (like their bread or their pizzo) into favours. Favours that had to be paid for, one way or another. The camorra system was based on the power to grant those favours and to take them away. Or even to throw them in people’s faces. The real cruelty of the turnip-throwing episode is that the camorrista was bestowing a favour that he could just as easily have withheld.” 1 likes
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