The Best Books about the Mafia

A Listmania! list by Benjamin Boylan (New York City)
The list author says: "I've read a lot of books about the mafia and most of them are written pretty poorly, don't have original facts and are either cheesy, boring or repetitive. These books are very good. I was going to put a bunch of bad books on here so you knew which to avoid, but I decided against it. I only included books about the Italian American Mafia."
Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
1.  Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires by Selwyn Raab
The list author says:
  "This is the best book about the mafia ever. It's a history of the five NY mafia families. It has more original facts than any other mafia book I have ever read. It is also an interesting and fun read. I love this book."
$16.09   Used & New from: $6.85
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire
2.  Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire by Douglas Century
The list author says:
  "This is one of the best mafia books ever, a great read about the former garbage monopoly the mafia had over New York City. The police go undercover and infiltrate one of the mafia's biggest moneymaking operations ever. There is less sopranos-type-drama and more examples of true mafia BUSINESS: how they made their money. Superb book."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Murder Machine (Onyx True Crime)
3.  Murder Machine (Onyx True Crime) by Jerry Capeci
The list author says:
  "This is the best story-type mafia book. It's about the DeMeo crew from the Gambino family out of Brooklyn. These guys killed more than any serial killers so this book constitutes as a horror too. This is an incredible storym a great read with interesting characters."
$7.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Wiseguy
4.  Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
The list author says:
  "This is the book the movie goodfellas is based on. If you love the movie, read this book. First off, there are many parts in this book that aren't in the movie. Second, there are interesting discrepancies - things that don't match with the movie. Classic."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)

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The Valachi Papers
5.  The Valachi Papers by Peter Maas
The list author says:
  "Great biography-style book in the vein of 'Wiseguy' (which it preceded) written by the first famous mob snitch. It takes place in the beginning of the NY mafia and Valachi is involved in every classic mob business and associates with some of the most famous mafia figures ever. I love the first few pages where he describes his rough childhood."
$11.22   Used & New from: $1.99
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Donnie Brasco
6.  Donnie Brasco by Joseph D. Pistone
The list author says:
  "Really great book. If you liked the movie, read the book because there is so much that was left out of the movie. Really great story and enjoyable read."
$7.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
7.  Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Martin Scorsese
The list author says:
  "Incredible book about the mob in Vegas. If you've seen the movie, read the book for more info and stories. By Nicholas Pileggi, NOT Martin Scorcese."
$8.99   Used & New from: $4.25
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia
8.  The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia by Steve Dougherty
The list author says:
  "It's a mob story similar to Goodfellas. A low-level associate is around the mafia for most of his life and tells his story. It is excellent for anyone looking for a fun, exciting and hilarious mafia book that introduces new characters and stories."
$8.99   Used & New from: $4.94
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

The Good Rat: A True Story
9.  The Good Rat: A True Story by Jimmy Breslin
The list author says:
  "Great book about "The Mafia Cops" the two policemen who allegedly worked for the Luchese crime family. It's told through the voice of the star witness of the case. It's a great read and the witness's story is complelling."
$12.48   Used & New from: $0.01
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Last Godfather: The Rise and Fall of Joey Massino (Berkley True Crime)
10.  The Last Godfather: The Rise and Fall of Joey Massino (Berkley True Crime) by Simon Crittle
The list author says:
  "This is a great book about the godfather that re-energized a mafia family that had been kicked out of the commission and left for dead. This is a great read."
$7.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'Arco, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia
11.  Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'Arco, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia by Jerry Capeci
The list author says:
  "Great book about an acting boss of the Luchese family that contains new facts and stories not seen in other mafia books."
$22.04   Used & New from: $7.87
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Boss of Bosses: The FBI and Paul Castellano
12.  Boss of Bosses: The FBI and Paul Castellano by Joseph F. O'Brien
The list author says:
  "I just read this good book. It's about Paul Castellano. This book has a lot of wiretap transcripts & you learn about new characters. Big Paul was the #1 Boss for like 8 years..."
$7.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti
13.  Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti by Jerry Capeci
The list author says:
  "There are many books about John Gotti. This is the best one. The author, Jerry Capeci is probably the best mafia author ever."
$15.31   Used & New from: $0.10
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Author

Benjamin Boylan (New York City)
Qualifications: Mafia Book Fan
Last updated: 8/26/14
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