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Deconstructing Organized Crime: An…
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Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study

by Joseph L. Albini

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1911537,190 (3.75)1
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    Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld by Scott M. Deitche (Artymedon)
    Artymedon: Because one is exactly what the other is not. Rather than dwelling on personalities and bloodbathes generated by them, the other looks at culture beyond the Italian social club to define with great precision and objectivity how Sicilian history fostered patronage relationships for life.… (more)
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an academic treatment of the subject of organized crime with a strong emphasis on the groups overseas, though the subject of US organized crime is addressed as well. Having previously read about organized crime in novels, mysteries, histories, newspapers, and law enforcement crime studies, it's hard to say I got much additional value out of an academic exploration of the topic. The criminals themselves do not conform to academic norms, so I'm not sure a scholarly analysis of their historical roots really provides much in the way of practical knowledge. If you are looking for an academic treatment of the subject, though, I do think this is a good example of one. But if you are more interested in organized crime from a criminology, journalistic, or sociological standpoint, this will not prove helpful at all. ( )
  spacecommuter | Aug 4, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Deconstructing Organized Crime reads very much as an instillation in an on-going argument regarding the nature of organized crime versus the depicted nature of organized crime.

The authors are authoritative in tone, with a lovely dry sense of humor showing up consistently, which made reading them very enjoyable.

A slim volume, there is a wealth of information, especially when pared with a good search engine to fill in the details on events that are discussed as if commonly known. They detail the differences between actual organized crime, in particular their systematic categorizing of crime organizations based on what the goal of the group appears to be (societal change, pure profit, services rendered to a demanding customer base, etc), and the popular depictions of organized crime.

Highlights for me were the history of organized crime in Sicily, and the economic and societal power structures that lead to the make-up particulars of crime organizations (rather than the ethnic connections often given pride of place), explaining in a way I can understand why organized crime appears in all civilizations, one way or another. ( )
  storyjunkie | Mar 18, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The authors of this book seek to separate the popular perception of the mafia and what organized crime actually is. It's more of a scholarly account the other mafia books that I have read. However, it was very detailed and a little hard to follow at times. I may come back to this book after I learn a little more about organized crime.
  mallinje | Feb 17, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In Deconstructing Organized Crime, Joseph Albini and Jeffrey Scott McIllwain clear away the cobwebs that have been spun around the Mafia over the course of the last 60 years. The Mafia mystique arose in the course of the hearings chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver in the 1950’s. The senator and the committee listed the characteristics of organized crime in American, including the assertion that a national crime syndicate called the Mafia existed in the United States, that the organization came from Sicily, practiced a secret code called ‘Omerta,’, dominated profitable rackets, and used a variety of means to achieve its goals, such as bribery, violence, and corruption of politicians. This mystique was fostered by the creation of movies such as The Godfather and Goodfellas, books, and most recently the TV series, The Sopranos.
The mystique ignores the reality that there are many organized crime groups in this country that preceded the large scale immigration from Sicily at the turn of the twentieth century. Pirates created fear and danger to trade during the Revolutionary period while syndicates provided prostitutes and pornographic literature to Civil War soldiers. The authors detail the results of research that found multi-ethnic groups cooperating in cocaine distribution, loan sharking and other rackets that have been laid solely at the feet of the Mafia since the Kefauver hearings. African American criminals victimized their fellow African Americans in Philadelphia. Chinese American organizations participated in buying policemen and politicians in New York.
The book is well documented and provides fascinating insight into the ‘Mafia’ and organized crime in America. It also includes more recent developments such as the globalization of crime networks, including terrorism and drug smuggling. For anyone interested in organized crime, this book is a must read! ( )
1 vote cvjacobs | Feb 1, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book describes the different ways the law enforcement agencies have in describing what is actually "organized" crime.. Sometimes hard to follow, but an interesting read. Think this is more as an educational book, but does take some of the Hollywood mystic off the term " mafia" ( )
  Kaysee | Jan 25, 2013 |
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