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Mafia: The History of the Mob

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This book is about extraordinary men who lived through extraordinary times. The History of the Mob tells the stories of their lives, their families, their code, their crimes, and their cold-blooded murders—from Don Vito Cascio Ferro, the New York mobster who lured Joe Petrosino to his death in Palermo, to John Gotti, “the Teflon don” and Bernardo “the Tractor” Provenzano, ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Arcturus Publishing Limited (first published January 7th 2011)
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Peter Harris
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m not sure why, but since I was a kid, I have wanted to find some redeeming quality about The Mafia. If you are like me, you actually will find a couple of redeeming stories about The Mafia, in this book. Yeah, it’s difficult to believe, since these guys are ruthless criminals. You have to read about the 80% of nastiness and disgust to also read about the 10% of redeemable things done by The Mafia. I think this book is an honest account about The Mafia.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book about whole history of Mafia, from begginings to the demise of once powerfull organisation. There are lots of interesting facts, anecdotes and mafia personalities but book sometimes feels rushed and sometimes I found it hard to fallow who, when and where (autor usses so many names that I couldt keep track sometimes). Owerall it is an interesting book.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Very interesting book which covers almost the entire history of the mafia. For that reason I find it almost rushed so I wish that this author produces a whole series of books concernig mafia families and it's bosses. Very engaging writing style.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not bad but not great

There is a lot of information in this book that is wrong, still not a bad read though so so
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is a factual account of the birth, rise and finally the demise of the Mafia. It is very to the point and rushed, considering the author wanted to cover the entire history in around 400 pages. There are so many interesting Dons, that I think, a book can be easily dedicated to the life of each Don. There are books, of course, inspired by some already (The Godfather, Al Copone), but a proper series can be written. It would be really difficult due to the Omerta, but, it would be really ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting book that covers the history of the Sicilian Mafia from the 18th to 20th century. It seems a bit light on some some details and doesn't really go into depth about anything in particular. This is understandable as a full, in-depth history would take up a small library's worth of books.

J'ai lu la version française de ce livre. Mafia, La véritable histoire du crime organisé. C’est très intéressant, mais je confondais les gens avec tous les noms italiens qui se ressemblent. Mon chapitre préféré est sans aucun doute celui sur Al Capone et la guerre de gangs qu’il a menée à Chicago.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cawthorne's non-fiction book on the mafia was a brilliant and interesting delve into the hidden world and history of the mafia. From its humble farmer beginnings to the multimillion dollar powerhouse of the American mafia. Worth a read if you are interested in crime.
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mafia
An anecdotal history of the Sicilian mob showing the blurred lines between criminals, law enforcement and government.
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a good general book about the Sicilian Mafia. I learned a lot.
Jjohn E
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Nigel Cawthorne is an Anglo-American writer of fiction and non-fiction, and an editor. He has written more than 80 books on a wide range of subjects and has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail and The New York Times. He has appeared on television and BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Many of Nigel Cawthorne's books are compilations of popular history, without footnotes,