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American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power
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American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  154 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A history of the rise of the Mafia in the world of crime and in the mainstream American political and economic life

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 authoritati
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published January 1st 2004)
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A solid accounting of the history of organized crime in the US from about 1880 to 1951. It ia interesting how the history of one book varies from the other, but this one provides documentation of its sources.
This is super hard to get into!
Christopher Lonero
Honestly, I would probably only give this book a 2.5 star rating. As some have commented already, this book is very hard to get into. I found this book difficult to follow with all the names mentioned through the chapters. I don't have much knowledge with the history of the American Mafia, thus the reason for the read. The book is extremely compact in information in which I found myself many times wanting to put it down because of the overabunance of details. However, this book does provide an e ...more
Some snippets were interesting, but I really don't need the blow-by-blow of the US Mafia's entire history. Some quotes:

"Across the country, many editorial pages all but congratulated the lynch mob. Even the New York Times editorial observed that while 'this affair is to be deplored, it would be difficult to find any one individual who . . . deplored it very much.'" - p17

On the code of silence and not turning to the police:
"One [detective] related how when a young Italian was shot and killed on a
Bookmarks Magazine

There's no one better equipped to tell this story than Reppetto, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City and former Chicago commander of detectives. Dispelling popular myths about the American Mafia perpetuated by the media and entertainment industry, Reppetto casts new light on the history of the mob's evils. Instead of one Mr. Big, there was a highly organized business network. Reppetto's evenhanded analysis of the Mafia's key men and their powerful opponents creates drama

There is a lot of information in this book, but I agree with other reviewers. It is hard to follow because the information isn't organized well. I don't blame the author... he really tries to get a lot of information in there. The book has a large scope, and perhaps that is some of the issue. But the info is really interesting. I like how he traced the mob from its beginnings and underlined the idea of an "American" mafia.
Jake Keyes
Just a broad overview of the history of the mob. Nothing too insightful or exciting.
Boeiend om al het filmgeweld over de Amerikaanse maffia eindelijk tegen de werkelijkheid te kunnen houden. Die vergelijking gaat heel goed op, zo blijkt. Het echte inside verhaal mis ik ik echter in dit boek.
Phil Duckworth
A really good history of the rise and decline of organised crime in the US. Puts the Godfather in context in a way! I'll never change my tyre ever again, I'll get someone else to do it.
Cat Phelps
I loved this book, I am very interested in how the Mafia came to be and its influence on our country historically and yet today.
3 stars for being well researched but it did get a bit dense and hard to get through at times.
Krzysztof Boboli
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