La Cosa Nostra discussion

Most important book NOT yet written

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message 1: by Thomas (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new)

Thomas (tphunt) | 38 comments What is the most important/interesting Mafia subject NOT yet dealt with in a published book?

The rise of smaller publishers and of the assisted self-publishing industry seems to be allowing many more topics to be addressed these days. But I still search the libraries and bookstores for books I cannot believe haven't yet been written.

(I find it incredible, for example, that there are several biographies of Joey Massino - yawn - about a zillion biographies of John Gotti and hardly a mention of Willie Moretti, Johnny Dioguardi, Tommy Lucchese... I understand that there has always been a huge demand for New York and Chicago Mafia histories. It makes sense that so many have been published. But why is there no decent history of the Mafia on the west coast???)

What are your thoughts? What book should crime historians start writing right now?

- Tom

message 2: by Thomas (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Thomas (tphunt) | 38 comments I'm going to say it is the history of the Mafia in California. Like Louisiana and New York, California was a very early home to Sicilian-Italian organized crime. While some attention is paid to the subject in biographies, I know of no book that adequately addresses the early history of California crime families.

- Tom

message 3: by Rick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Rick (rickmattix) | 28 comments I'd agree with that, Tom. I also think that while probably not as glamorous to publishers that there's some interesting family histories to be more fully explored yet in Colorado and Texas.


message 4: by Thomas (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

Thomas (tphunt) | 38 comments Yes, those areas are practically untouched.

What are the chances that another Ellen Poulsen, Scott Deitche, or even Rick Porello will pop up out there and start setting some stuff down on paper? What sort of fertilizer can we spread to cause an interested writer to sprout there?

I should apologize for leaving the Gulf coast of Texas out of my earlier post. In researching the early Mafia history of New Orleans, we learned that there was considerable related activity in the Galveston-Houston region. It deserves to be considered among the earliest homes of the American Mafia.

(BTW: I'm hoping the soon-to-be-released Frank Hayde book "The Mafia and the Machine" will give us a new perspective on Kansas City. As you know, I am particularly interested in history that shows the relationship between organized politics and organized crime.)

- Tom

message 5: by Rick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Rick (rickmattix) | 28 comments Kansas City is fascinating. Outside of Ed Reid's Mafia tho, most of the literature to date has focused on the Pendergast machine rather than the local Mafia, which is certainly deserving of more detailed study. It's mostly been Pendergast tho, or else the Union Station Massacre which I regard as the work of independent outlaws.

Last I knew, Dan Waugh, the author of Egan's Rats, was working on following this up with a book or books on the St. Louis and Detroit families and their complex and related histories.

Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio are a couple of other areas I feel are deserving of further exploration.


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