Men of Respect: A Social History of the Sicilian Mafia

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9780029053256: Men of Respect: A Social History of the Sicilian Mafia

The global criminal organization, known as the Mafia, originated in the orange groves of the Conca D'Ora, the rich hinterland of Palermo, Sicily, during the early 19th century. It was here that the "Mafia of the Gardens", a loose network of bandits, built up their industry of crime - the impresa criminale. This book shows how these rural bands resisted the encroachment of the Italian government in the 1840s, infiltrated it, took control of its agencies and so became the ruling power on the island. The book argues that the vast organization that operates across continents today remains, in structure, remarkably similar to the early rural operations, despite the enormous gulf in style and scale.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

From Library Journal:

Written by an Italian professor, this is an insightful sociological analysis of the special cultural, economic, and political features of Sicilian life that produced the Mafia. Initially, the nascent Mafia served the landowning ruling class by mediating its relations with the peasants. Latent during the Fascist period, the Mafia successfully manipulated the governing Christian Democratic Party after World War II. Expanding into drugs and urban ventures, the Sicilian Mafia is more powerful and deep-rooted than its American cousin. No less violent (it is credited with 150 murders in 1982), it does not balk at killing public figures as well as its own members. Heavily weighted toward the theoretical, this book is recommended for research collections. Lay readers or those interested in the Sicily-U.S. Mafia connection would likely prefer Claire Sterling's Octopus ( LJ 1/90).
- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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