Rebecca's Reviews > The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

The First Family by Mike Dash
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's review
Feb 26, 2010

really liked it

Did you know the first real Mafia "family" in the US was headed by men from Corleone, Sicily? Or that the head Mafioso had an ice-cold demeanor and a rough, whispery voice, both of which inspired terror in his underlings? I didn't! I thought these were purely inventions of Mario Puzo. Mike Dash brings these little facts, and others long ignored by American historians, to light in The First Family, the first book about the early origins of the Mafia in America. There are moments when the narrative gets dragged down because Dash provides too many details of the comings and goings of his numerous characters. Overall, though, this is an informative account of a world most of us thought only existed in popular culture.

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