Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Mafia” as Want to Read:
American Mafia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Mafia

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Reppetto's book earns its place among the best . . . he brings fresh context to a familiar story worth retelling." -- The New York Times Book Review

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 exc
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 2nd 2005 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Mafia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about American Mafia

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  16 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Competent history of the development of the mafia and various syndicates operating simultaneously. Reppetto dispels a few myths, and his sources are well documented. There's not a lot new here, but Reppetto's penchant for detail brings out some subtleties previously overlooked. My opinions on the subject lean toward realizing while we may know some things, there is a lot that we don't know and at this point, while interesting, really doesn't matter much.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this 3.5 stars if Goodreads allowed that because I liked it more than 3 but not quite 4 stars. Anyway, I have a strange fascination with criminal organizations (I can probably blame it on "Some Like It Hot"). This book satisfied that fascination quite nicely. Good history of how different individuals with links to organized crime rose to prominence, squared off against each other, developed their own power bases, and, in many cases, met their eventual demises. The only reason I don' ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is super hard to get into!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Had hoped this would be more interesting than it was.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
Conrad Grimm
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thomas Reppetto's book has definitely earned its place amongst the best crime non-fiction books and one of his best books other than “NYPD”, and leaves you wanting to read it again. Organized crime the Italian American kind has long been a source of popular entertainment and legend. Now Reppetto insights readers with a balanced read of the Mafia's rise from the 1880s to the post-WWII era that is as exciting and readable as it is informal. Structuring his narrative around a notable amount of case ...more
Merit Coba
I read the American Maffa: a history, some months ago and although I found the book interesting, the writer isn't very good at presenting the subject in a cohesive manner.
The basic issue is that Reppetto fills his pages with information chronologically. While this might seem a valid approach, the issue is that the broader outlines get buried under needless detailed information.
One of the advantages of looking back is that we are able to connect the dots and draw general conclusions. Reppetto ho
Christopher Lonero
Aug 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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

Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Cat Phelps
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jake Keyes
Just a broad overview of the history of the mob. Nothing too insightful or exciting.
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.
rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2013
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2013
Don Livesay
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2016
Cheryl Gill
rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2014
Craig P. Coleman
rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2018
Jordan Lockard
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2016
Sam Arnold
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2015
Scott Beard
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2017
rated it liked it
Oct 27, 2007
rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre: The Untold Story of the Gangland Bloodbath That Brought Down Al Capone
  • Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family
  • Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
  • The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
  • The Mafia Encyclopedia
  • My Ears Are Bent
  • Murder, Inc.: The Story Of The Syndicate
  • The Underboss: The Rise and Fall of a Mafia Family
  • The Last Godfathers: Inside the Mafia's Most Infamous Family
  • Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia
  • Mr. Capone
  • Chin: The Life and Crimes of Mafia Boss Vincent Gigante
  • Bound by Honor: A Mafioso's Story
  • Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life
  • All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913-1930
  • The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles
  • Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti
  • The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »