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"If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s thro "If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s.  Based on exhaustive research of archives and secret files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, author and attorney C. Alexander Hortis draws on the deepest collection of primary sources, many newly discovered, of any history of the modern mob. Shattering myths, Hortis reveals how Cosa Nostra actually obtained power at the inception.  The author goes beyond conventional who-shot-who mob stories, providing answers to fresh questions such as:      * Why did the Sicilian gangs come out on top of the criminal underworld?    * Can economics explain how the Mafia families operated?    * What was the Mafia's real role in the drug trade?    * Why was Cosa Nostra involved in gay bars in New York since the 1930s?   Drawing on an unprecedented array of primary sources, The Mob and the City is the most thorough and authentic history of the Mafia's rise to power in the early-to-mid twentieth century.


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"If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s thro "If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s.  Based on exhaustive research of archives and secret files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, author and attorney C. Alexander Hortis draws on the deepest collection of primary sources, many newly discovered, of any history of the modern mob. Shattering myths, Hortis reveals how Cosa Nostra actually obtained power at the inception.  The author goes beyond conventional who-shot-who mob stories, providing answers to fresh questions such as:      * Why did the Sicilian gangs come out on top of the criminal underworld?    * Can economics explain how the Mafia families operated?    * What was the Mafia's real role in the drug trade?    * Why was Cosa Nostra involved in gay bars in New York since the 1930s?   Drawing on an unprecedented array of primary sources, The Mob and the City is the most thorough and authentic history of the Mafia's rise to power in the early-to-mid twentieth century.

30 review for The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carl Russo

    The Mob and The City is not so much a revisionist take on the New York mobs but a complete rediscovery of a dark chapter of American history. With a storyteller’s eye for the revealing detail, author Hortis transports us to the bustling streets and piers of 1930s New York to meet the real underworld hustlers—both the infamous and the unknown. Surprises await even the most knowledgeable crime buff about the feuding gangsters in the Castellammarese War, the lead-up to the murder of cruel boss Alber The Mob and The City is not so much a revisionist take on the New York mobs but a complete rediscovery of a dark chapter of American history. With a storyteller’s eye for the revealing detail, author Hortis transports us to the bustling streets and piers of 1930s New York to meet the real underworld hustlers—both the infamous and the unknown. Surprises await even the most knowledgeable crime buff about the feuding gangsters in the Castellammarese War, the lead-up to the murder of cruel boss Albert Anastasia, and the Mafia’s boxing mogul Frankie “Mr. Gray” Carbo. The book even includes a rogues’ photo gallery of the entire Mafia Commission of 1931: Capone, Luciano, Bonanno, Profaci, and its more shadowy figures. My hardbound copy is a handsome package, a real class act, but Hortis’s riveting prose and fresh anecdotes are reasons enough to grab this book over others dealing with the American Mafia. My personal measure of a good mob book—and I own dozens—is its sourcing. The attorney-author pored over countless court transcripts and obscure archives. This is truly a landmark of organized crime studies.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    The Mob and the City gives an overview of the New York Mafia from the late 1920s to the late 1950s. What makes this book different and what makes it stand out is the amount of research that went into making this work and its accuracy. He goes into details of the Castellammarese War and the 1957 Apalachin meeting that no one else has even touched. He did this by digging into the archival records in New York, Maryland and Washington, DC, and analyzed them like only a lawyer can. Beyond that, Horti The Mob and the City gives an overview of the New York Mafia from the late 1920s to the late 1950s. What makes this book different and what makes it stand out is the amount of research that went into making this work and its accuracy. He goes into details of the Castellammarese War and the 1957 Apalachin meeting that no one else has even touched. He did this by digging into the archival records in New York, Maryland and Washington, DC, and analyzed them like only a lawyer can. Beyond that, Hortis is a good writer. The book is a good read and his style keeps you interested. Once I started reading a chapter I was almost forced to continue to the end because of his storytelling skills. Hortis also went after several myths, like the Mafia's avoidance of drugs. He provides a long list of names that leaves the reader without having any doubt that the Mafia was deep in the drug trade. I believe Hortis's book would be an invaluable addition for the reader interested in Mafia and organized crime studies, True Crime, American History and New York History.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Macke

    first rate history of the mafia in NYC ... a well-written myth-buster ... have not seen a clearer picture about how the five families came into existence, the roles they played and the business model that sustained them - and it could only have happened in NYC ... all the facts, complete with what's missing in similar books, namely, pictures, maps, tables, names

  4. 5 out of 5

    Day Rusk

    I really hate to do this, but after reading more than two-thirds of author C. Alexander Hortis’s book on the rise of the New York Mafia, I just had to give it up; there really was no point in continuing on. If you’re new to the history of the Mafia during the 20th Century, you may enjoy it, but I’d still encourage you to seek out other books on the subject in order to wet your feet. The promise of The Mob and The City was a new perspective or outlook on a history that is tired and well mined by o I really hate to do this, but after reading more than two-thirds of author C. Alexander Hortis’s book on the rise of the New York Mafia, I just had to give it up; there really was no point in continuing on. If you’re new to the history of the Mafia during the 20th Century, you may enjoy it, but I’d still encourage you to seek out other books on the subject in order to wet your feet. The promise of The Mob and The City was a new perspective or outlook on a history that is tired and well mined by other historians. The promise was made, but Hortis didn’t pull it off. For a good part of the book, to prove the history has been warped, he uses Bonanno crime family boss, Josephy Bonanno’s 1983 autobiography, A Man of Honor as an example. Bonanno wrote this book after being dissatisfied with Gay Talese’s 1971 book on the Bonanno Family, Honor Thy Father for which Bonanno participated by giving the author interviews. It is generally known by those of us who have read extensively on Mob history that Bonanno’s book is a bit of a whitewash; Bonanno painting the biased picture he wanted to paint – in essence furiously putting make-up on a pig, hoping we won’t notice it’s still a pig. So, referring to this book throughout The Mob and The City to make a point doesn’t get the job done. I’ll admit I’m biased. This is an area of interest, but at the same time, I’m also somewhat opened minded. I enjoyed Jonathan Eig’s Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster, in which Eig posits that The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre had absolutely nothing to do with Al Capone, but was the result of something else. Here he makes a good argument; however I’m still inclined to give ole Scarface the credit there. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the first criminal case that fully embraced, at that time, the new science of ballistics, and because of that, the guns used in the commission of that crime have been tied back to too many Capone associates. But I digress. I went into The Mob and The City with a great deal of excitement, but found it lacking, both in information, as well as style and presentation. Many times I felt like I was reading a textbook, but not one with sufficient information and insight to correctly educate me. I value the effort by the author, but as far as I’m concerned, it was a swing and a miss.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    This well-researched book on the mafia's proliferation in NYC during the early to mid 1900's provides a great historical context that separates facts from myths. You will come away from this book gaining great insight into the brutal rise of Italian mobsters, and why they were able to flourish for decades. It does jump around a bit however, and left me wanting to read more. It's a very good read that won't disappoint.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Hortis demolishes what we thought we knew about the Mob and builds a new history upon a solid foundation of exclusive documentary evidence and superb insight. The Mob and the City is essential reading for all who seek to truly understand the phenomenon of organized crime in America's most populous city.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Will Meyerhofer

    This is the best all-around history of the mafia I've ever encountered - it's compulsively readable and seems to delight in overturning myth after myth, all the while answering those nagging questions that never seemed to receive meaningful answers before - like, how did the mafia actually work as a business, and how did the "made men" live on a day to day basis? How did it rise to power - and why was it composed primarily of Italians, and not some other ethnic group? How did the mafia work with This is the best all-around history of the mafia I've ever encountered - it's compulsively readable and seems to delight in overturning myth after myth, all the while answering those nagging questions that never seemed to receive meaningful answers before - like, how did the mafia actually work as a business, and how did the "made men" live on a day to day basis? How did it rise to power - and why was it composed primarily of Italians, and not some other ethnic group? How did the mafia work with/relate to Jewish, Chinese and African-American gangsters (often, it turns out, they cooperated.) What really happened at that big mob conference in Apalachin and why did it matter? Why didn't Hoover and the FBI break up the mafia back in its heyday? This book is filled with unexpected revelations, and it's written in an exciting, clear-cut style, so I was literally up half the night, unable to put it down. According to Hortis - a protege of James Jacobs, the NYU Law professor who is the top expert on all things Cosa Nostra - the mafia was run along the lines of a franchise business and - counter to their mythology and lies - made a good chunk of its profits from importing narcotics in bulk from Europe. Hortis explores the mob's control - for many decades - over NYC's gay bars. He delves into the lives of the mob defense lawyers, who often got sucked into becoming mobsters themselves, with interesting and often disastrous consequences. He talks about how the mob infiltrated unions during the 1930's, after losing immense profits from the repeal of Prohibition. He tackles the myth of the "omerta" and - across the boards - surprises you with his conclusions. Yes, there are also plenty of bloody gangland assassinations and mob wars between "families" and delicious anecdotes and details on the mobsters themselves, in all their sociopathic glory. This is juicy stuff. The Mob and the City is history at its best - fantastically thorough, ground-breaking research that revises everything we know about a fascinating subject, coupled with a terrific knack for story-telling. Trust me, even if you're not sure you're all that curious about the mafia... you'll get sucked in by the first chapter. You'll try to get away, but it'll keep pulling you back...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lennert Van

    Having read hundreds of books relating to the Italian Mafia in the United States, The mob and the City by C. Alexander Hortis turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not only gives the book a very accurate account of the rise of the New York Mafia from the 1920s up to the 1950s, the result of extensive research, Hortis actually managed to provide readers with plenty of information that can not be found in any of the already existing books dealing with the same subject. Always wondered about the ex Having read hundreds of books relating to the Italian Mafia in the United States, The mob and the City by C. Alexander Hortis turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not only gives the book a very accurate account of the rise of the New York Mafia from the 1920s up to the 1950s, the result of extensive research, Hortis actually managed to provide readers with plenty of information that can not be found in any of the already existing books dealing with the same subject. Always wondered about the extent of influence the New York mob had on the waterfront, in the narcotics trade and in New York City's nightlife? The Mob and the City has the answers!! I would recommend The Mob and the City to anyone with an interest in the American Mafia or the shady side of NYC. This is just one of those rare books that deserves a prominent place on any bookshelf.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    "The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York" chronicles the New York Mafia from the 1920s, through the 1950s. Like others have mentioned. The research involved with writing this book was astounding. The last half of The Mob and The City" was literally taken over by the pages listing the extensive annotations and notes for those who wish to do further research. All in all this was a really good book. It starts out slow, but quickly gains steam and moves along nice "The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York" chronicles the New York Mafia from the 1920s, through the 1950s. Like others have mentioned. The research involved with writing this book was astounding. The last half of The Mob and The City" was literally taken over by the pages listing the extensive annotations and notes for those who wish to do further research. All in all this was a really good book. It starts out slow, but quickly gains steam and moves along nicely. Anyone who has a serious interest in the research of organized crime should read this book. After I was finished reading this book it kept me with wanting more. Needless to say I HIGHLY recommend that you read it if your into mafia related true crime books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Harold

    A somewhat different portrayal of the emergence of the Mafia as the dominant force in organized crime in the first half of the 20th century, Hortis views as a case of being in the right place at the right time. He realizes that as minorities of that era Italians and Jews had little opportunity open to them and those inclined to criminality whether by temperament or circumstance went that route. He eschews the usual portrayal of the mobsters of the 30's through the 50s as respecting the "code of A somewhat different portrayal of the emergence of the Mafia as the dominant force in organized crime in the first half of the 20th century, Hortis views as a case of being in the right place at the right time. He realizes that as minorities of that era Italians and Jews had little opportunity open to them and those inclined to criminality whether by temperament or circumstance went that route. He eschews the usual portrayal of the mobsters of the 30's through the 50s as respecting the "code of silence" and rejecting drug dealing as untrue and cites examples and tables to dispute the conventional view. It's a book that will be of interest to readers who have an interest in that subject.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    Take all of the romanticism and myth-making out of The Godfather, and you have this book. It's written very much like a history text, and shows obvious research and scholarship. Geography, economics, sociology, ethnic studies and business converge to tell the story. Surprisingly, this doesn't turn the history of the Mafia into a dry, bloodless study - it makes its trajectory a rich and integral part of the American story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Howard Spinner

    This is THE BOOK that you need to read about the Mafia! It debunks all of the glamours of the Mob, and rightly shows how through the natural and unique growth of NYC industries, organized crime gained a foothold, and then with Prohibition, became a powerful syndicate. Reads like a novel!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Informative but so poorly written with intros to multiple chapters stating "now let us look at...." I could not finish this book. Great topic that I hope another author tackles more successfully

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erichyde

    One-note. I've read it all before.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frank Taylor

    New take on mafia since the Godfather movie. Very insightful. ft

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul Brewer

    Strong on information, but a bit of a dry read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    George Willey

    definitely a lot of work went into gathering names and dates of events. little too much like a school book for my tastes

  18. 5 out of 5

    mel

    very boring. Almost torture

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve K

    Really enjoyed this. I wish I had a hard copy to refer to the many chart's referenced.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cate

    This was a really hard book to give a rating to; from the content point of view this book would have been awarded a full 4 thumbs as it was obviously well researched, and very interesting reading. It takes everything the reader thinks they know about the Mafia and puts it into context. It dispels a lot of the myth and romanticism that surrounds this group of people and shows them for what they really were. The Book itself seemed to be aimed at those who already have knowledge of the Underworld w This was a really hard book to give a rating to; from the content point of view this book would have been awarded a full 4 thumbs as it was obviously well researched, and very interesting reading. It takes everything the reader thinks they know about the Mafia and puts it into context. It dispels a lot of the myth and romanticism that surrounds this group of people and shows them for what they really were. The Book itself seemed to be aimed at those who already have knowledge of the Underworld workings of the mafia, but this doesn’t take away from it being a very informative read for those who are dipping into Mafia history for the first time. Although this book is written very much like a history text; it includes sociology, economics and geography with some very detailed tables, I couldn’t help but feel that this was just someone’s lecture notes that they had bound into a book. There was an over use of the phrases ‘as you will see’ or ‘now let us look at’ that just made it feel as if this particular take on the subject of the Mafia was meant to be heard not read. Throw in the overlong chapter subheadings which appear on every page, and you have a writing style that I could only rating as 2 thumbs, and that was being kind. My initial reasoning behind picking this up was an interest in Early New York, particularly the Italian side of things, as I have Family members who lived in this era and area. This book did shed a great deal of light on life in the time period covered by the book, but not enough to give the boost to the rating it so sorely needs. In the end I decided to split the difference between the two above rating points and give it a three. The book was informative, but extremely dull in places which was a shame given the amount of research that had gone into it. Maybe with a stricter editor, who was willing to cut out a lot of the ‘lecture’ speak, this could have been a lot less tedious and grating. I would recommend it to anyone that is interesting in this subject, but be warned it may not be what you are expecting. Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/11/07... This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Walt

    Hortis proposes to write a revisionist history of the New York Mafia. His book is based on a plethora of primary sources and contrasting existing popular sources. Hortis takes particular aim at Joe Bonanno's autobiography as causing many of the popular misconceptions about the Mafia. He relies a bit more on the memoirs of Joe Valachi and Nicola Gentile; but only as axillary support for arguments based on legal documents and government documents. The writing style is more in line with graduate sc Hortis proposes to write a revisionist history of the New York Mafia. His book is based on a plethora of primary sources and contrasting existing popular sources. Hortis takes particular aim at Joe Bonanno's autobiography as causing many of the popular misconceptions about the Mafia. He relies a bit more on the memoirs of Joe Valachi and Nicola Gentile; but only as axillary support for arguments based on legal documents and government documents. The writing style is more in line with graduate school term papers rather than chapters in a book for popular consumption. There is a strong attempt to make the book academic, probably in the style of his mentor, James Jacobs. While Jacobs is a well-regarded expert on crime, his writing is dry and almost insufferable. Fortunately, Hortis finds some balance between academe and junk for the public. Most of the book is not really revisionist history; but offering a new perspective. Using government studies of commerce and demographics, Hortis shows how racketeers exploited weaknesses in particular businesses. He stops short of prescribing necessary conditions for racketeer infiltration; but provides excellent case studies in waterfront racketeering, waste hauling, etc. Readers could probably learn the same information from other books; but Hortis packages everything together in a quick (and superbly-documented) book. Hortis has a special place in his mind to debunk popular misconceptions of the mob, especially narcotics, Apalachin, and the Castellemarese War. Many of these myths have already been debunked in the scholarly literature - a la Informer Journal. However, Hortis packages everything, adds more detail, and delivers it to readers. More so than previous revisionist studies, Hortis relies on court records and government documents to support his assertions. His research, more than his writing, makes this book invaluable to all types of readers. Overall, this is an impressive book that has a lot to offer. In a marketplace inundated with mass-produced, self-published junk on the mob, The Mob and the City offers excellent scholarship, good writing, and an easy writing style.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rob S

    After reading somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15 books about the mafia, one typically begins running into the same stories told the same exact ways. This is especially true for the events that took place in the New York mafia, due to the popularity of the events there and the information available. So when at the library, I saw there was yet another book about the mafia and New York, but I was intrigued enough by the book to give it a shot. Thankfully, Hortis and The Mob and the City doesn After reading somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15 books about the mafia, one typically begins running into the same stories told the same exact ways. This is especially true for the events that took place in the New York mafia, due to the popularity of the events there and the information available. So when at the library, I saw there was yet another book about the mafia and New York, but I was intrigued enough by the book to give it a shot. Thankfully, Hortis and The Mob and the City doesn't disappoint. Hortis does something few books about the mob has ever done, examine why was such a hotbed for the mob but more importantly why it flourished there especially as opposed to say Los Angeles or Miami. Hortis examines the rise of the New York mafia and the impact that Prohibition had on the mob. What makes this book distinct from other mob books is the incorporation of sociology, economics, and other interesting ways of looking at the events that took place. One would never quite think to initially look at the mob as you would McDonalds. Hortis also takes the time to dispel popular myths about the mob, ranging from their so-called ban of narcotics, to the myths behind the Castellammarese War, and everything in-between. Despite having read as many books about the mob previously, I still learned some new facts including about particular economics of the mafia and the involvement of the mafia in the gay nightclub/bar scene. The book also does a good job of covering up until 1957, the year that would mark the slow beginning of the end of the mob with internal fighting and of course Apalachin. Whether you've read no mob books, five mob books, or twenty mob books, The Mob and the City is definitely worth reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Review originally published at Book of Bogan I have read quite a few books about La Cosa Nostra recently - in fact I am reading another one at the moment - and I was interested in learning more about how the Mafia manages to wangle its way into the levels of control that it has, or has had in the past. With a subtitle like "The Secret History of How the Mafia Captured New York" I was imagining that this book would cover some of that territory. This book is not a bad book - for what it does, and wh Review originally published at Book of Bogan I have read quite a few books about La Cosa Nostra recently - in fact I am reading another one at the moment - and I was interested in learning more about how the Mafia manages to wangle its way into the levels of control that it has, or has had in the past. With a subtitle like "The Secret History of How the Mafia Captured New York" I was imagining that this book would cover some of that territory. This book is not a bad book - for what it does, and what it covers, it is very well-researched - but for me at least, it did not shed any real new light on the subject. I would say that it serves as a primer, or a history of the rise of some of the biggest Mafia families in New York, and around the country, but as to the how, rather than the what, I really felt let down. I think much of the public's perception of the Mafia is based on what we have seen on our film and television screens, and the author often draws comparisons between the reality, and the 'reality' portrayed in movies - most commonly the Godfather trilogy. Where I think the book falls down is in that it doesn't really do what it says on the tin, so to speak. Yes, it might be a history of the Mob in New York... and other places... but - in the words of Austin Powers - What does it all mean Basil? I felt none the wiser on that score having read it, and felt like it fizzled out in the end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    "If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s. Based on exhaustive research of archives and secret files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, author "If there's a better book on the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, I haven't seen it." - Jerry Capeci, veteran mob reporter and author of Mob Boss. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s. Based on exhaustive research of archives and secret files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, author and attorney C. Alexander Hortis draws on the deepest collection of primary sources, many newly discovered, of any history of the modern mob. Shattering myths, Hortis reveals how Cosa Nostra actually obtained power at the inception. The author goes beyond conventional who-shot-who mob stories, providing answers to fresh questions such as: * Why did the Sicilian gangs come out on top of the criminal underworld? * Can economics explain how the Mafia families operated? * What was the Mafia's real role in the drug trade? * Why was Cosa Nostra involved in gay bars in New York since the 1930s? Drawing on an unprecedented array of primary sources, The Mob and the City is the most thorough and authentic history of the Mafia's rise to power in the early-to-mid twentieth century.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    4 stars for content - fascinating stuff, clearly well researched. This is the first Mafia history I've read, so I'm less attuned to what is "revisionist" about it - though it's clear the author is writing for an audience that is pretty well-versed (if not in the actual history, then at least in the pop culture of The Godfather, The Sopranos, etc.) 1.5 stars for the writing. I lost track of the number of times the author used "as we will see" or "as we have seen" to start paragraphs -- which just 4 stars for content - fascinating stuff, clearly well researched. This is the first Mafia history I've read, so I'm less attuned to what is "revisionist" about it - though it's clear the author is writing for an audience that is pretty well-versed (if not in the actual history, then at least in the pop culture of The Godfather, The Sopranos, etc.) 1.5 stars for the writing. I lost track of the number of times the author used "as we will see" or "as we have seen" to start paragraphs -- which just made it feel like I was reading a very well-researched high school paper. And there are long chapter subheadings for nearly every paragraph. That works for Kurt Vonnegut; it decidedly does NOT work here, and just seems like a way to mask a real lack of flow and transition within each chapter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Overall this was a pretty solid read. A good level of detail and some interesting opinions on several of the previous stories spun in mafia lore. Author does not pull punches on a few of the stories which have been passed down through books and movies. Specifically takes aim at some of the age old perceptions, codes, ethics, and practices by the old time "men of honor". Overall I give this a strong 4 stars. If you are a deep mafia enthusiast(like me) there are enough interesting opinions and a fa Overall this was a pretty solid read. A good level of detail and some interesting opinions on several of the previous stories spun in mafia lore. Author does not pull punches on a few of the stories which have been passed down through books and movies. Specifically takes aim at some of the age old perceptions, codes, ethics, and practices by the old time "men of honor". Overall I give this a strong 4 stars. If you are a deep mafia enthusiast(like me) there are enough interesting opinions and a fair amount of data to back those positions. If you are a casual mafia reader, this provides enough of a review to give you a pretty solid background on a very interesting time in our country's history.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Berryman

    Normally I read science fiction, romantic suspense and urban fantasy but read reviews of this book and it really sounded interesting, plus I am part Sicilian and have always loved mafia-based movies. This book has some very interesting information about early mafia life in New York and some great myth-busting details. Overall a very informative read maybe just a little dry but I would still recommend this for anyone interested in the early days of the mafia in New York.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diana Thorne

    Everyone seems to love this book because it takes the romanticism, myths, and tradition out of the mafia. Ok, those are the best parts. So while the author completes his mission well, it removes most of my desire for reading it in the first place. Every time he mentioned with disdain the fanciful account Joe Bonnano gave in his memoirs, the more I wished I was reading that book, or a book that seemed to center in the characters themselves. This was a little dry for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chad Simons

    I have always had a mild fascination with the world of the Mob. Its hard to know what is true and what is false anymore. This book does a great job of sorting some of that out and separating the Hollywood Mob from the actual mob. Not sure on the sources from this book, but at the same time I was not interested in complete verification of fact. This was an entertaining book that provided some additional insights to the stories that are plastered on the silver screen and many that are not.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    This book outlines how the Italian Mafia took control of the rackets in the early 1900’s and managed to hold onto it for almost 100 years. This puts to bet many of the myths of the mafia, like the cleansing of the Mustache Pete’s after the assassination of Salvatore Maranzano. It does tend to read a little bland at parts with a lot of statistics and lists of names for instance a several page list of where outside NYC various mobsters lived. Good read

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