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How Prohibition Created the Mafia - History
MOBSTERS AND GANGSTERS: Organized Crime in America, from Al Capone to Tony Soprano
In this look at the history of American gangsters, the editors nicely balance chapters on the history of organized crime starting with the criminal "golden age" of the s with a collection of archival photos. The money-shots here are dozens of photos depicting dead mobsters and victims: inspired by the style of famous crime photographer Weegee who receives his own chapter , the book graphically illustrates the gory side of crime through bloody photos ranging from cowboy criminals like the Dalton gang to mob boss Paul Castellano's shooting in But the book isn't all blood and guts. Shorter sections on the elements of the gangster life from cars to clothes are equally successful in depicting the extravagant mob lifestyle; a chapter illustrating the lavish home of legendary L. While the prose is occasionally boiled a little too hard and the "reminiscence" by Elmore Leonard is a reprint of a slight if interesting biographical essay published in Life in , the book delivers the requsite vicarious thrills. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author.
The American Mafia ,    commonly referred to as "the Mafia" or sometimes "the Mob", though "the Mafia" can also refer to the original Sicilian Mafia , while "the Mob" can refer to other organized crime groups or organized crime in general, or Italian-American Mafia ,    is a highly organized Italian-American criminal society. The organization's name is derived from the original Mafia or Cosa nostra , the Sicilian Mafia , and it originally emerged as an offshoot of the Sicilian Mafia; however, the organization eventually encompassed or absorbed other Italian-American gangsters and Italian-American crime groups such as the American Camorra living in the United States and Canada that are not of Sicilian origin. It is often colloquially referred to as the Italian Mafia or Italian Mob , though these terms may also apply to the separate yet related Sicilian Mafia or other organized crime groups in Italy. It also emerged in other areas of the East Coast of the United States and several other major metropolitan areas such as New Orleans  and Chicago during the late 19th century and early 20th century, following waves of Italian immigration especially from Sicily and other regions of Southern Italy. It has its roots in the Sicilian Mafia but is a separate organization in the United States.
Organized crime may be defined as systematically unlawful activity for profit on a city-wide, interstate, and even international scale. The corporate criminal organization is a far cry from the small-scale predations of a Bonnie and Clyde. Criminal organizations keep their illegal operations secret, and members confer by word of mouth. Gangs sometimes become sufficiently systematic to be called organized. The act of engaging in criminal activity as a structured group is referred to in the United States as racketeering.
Mobsters - The Gambino Crime Family - Full Documentary
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Criminal gangs had run amok in American cities since the late 19th-century, but they were mostly bands of street thugs running small-time extortion and loansharking rackets in predominantly ethnic Italian, Jewish, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. In return, the politicians and police chiefs would turn a blind eye to illegal gambling and prostitution rings. But the underworld power dynamics shifted dramatically with the onset of Prohibition and the overnight outlawing of every bottle of beer, glass of wine and shot of booze in America. With legitimate bars and breweries out of business, someone had to step in to fuel the substantial thirst of the Roaring Twenties. And no one was better equipped than the mobsters. The key to running a successful bootlegging operation, Abadinsky explains, was a paramilitary organization.