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Mafia: The History of the Mob

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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, who hid out in a farmhouse for forty-three years.

384 pages, Paperback

First published January 7, 2011

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About the author

Nigel Cawthorne

305 books96 followers
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, references or bibliographies. His own web site refers to a description of his home as a "book-writing factory" and says, "More than half my books were commissioned by publishers and packagers for a flat fee or for a for a reduced royalty".

One of his most notable works was Taking Back My Name, an autobiography of Ike Turner, with whom he spent a number of weeks working with him on, taking up residence in Turner's house. The book caused much controversy, resulting in court cases for three years following its release.

Cawthorne currently lives in Bloomsbury, London with his girlfriend and son, Colin (born 1982).

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5 stars
74 (25%)
4 stars
72 (24%)
3 stars
102 (35%)
2 stars
26 (8%)
1 star
15 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Dea.
377 reviews
December 19, 2020
This is an interesting book about the history of the mafia. Given the fact that the mafia has a long history and this book has around 300 pages the story feels quite rushed. It's history concers a great number of families in great many countries so a more in depth book about them should certainly have more pages. The writing style was very engaging and the pictures were a great addition.
Profile Image for Filip.
280 reviews2 followers
January 11, 2020
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.
1 review
August 6, 2019
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
6 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2020

Until you read this book you'll be unaware of the sheer scope and power of these people. Scary from start to finish.
Profile Image for Richa.
474 reviews44 followers
July 15, 2016
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 interesting.
Although, the subject of this book is very morbid, due to the blunt factual tone, most of the horror just passes over you. You don't feel any horror or shock or revulsion. You just... read it. Like its alright.
All in all, informative and enlightening.
Profile Image for James.
27 reviews
October 26, 2020
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.

Profile Image for G-E.
1,104 reviews12 followers
July 7, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Allan.
133 reviews12 followers
February 13, 2015
An anecdotal history of the Sicilian mob showing the blurred lines between criminals, law enforcement and government.
2,327 reviews90 followers
January 10, 2016
This is a good general book about the Sicilian Mafia. I learned a lot.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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