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Mafia: Inside the Dark Heart: The Rise and Fall of the Sicilian Mafia Hardcover – December 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312646585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312646585
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,531,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A comprehensive history ... a very readable journey" Italy Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

A.G.D. Maran has lived in Italy for part of each year for over 50 years and so has had a bird’s eye view of the changes that have affected Italy so cruelly.  He now divides his time between Italy and Edinburgh. 


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on December 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author combines personal field work with existing and well-known comments on the Sicilian Mafia and arrives at sketching an impressive global history of the `Honorable Society', even integrating current events.
He distinguishes three different periods in the reign and the downfall of `Il Sistema'.

First period (19th century till the 1940s - Sicily)
In the 19th century, a group of socially relevant people forces a break in the direct dependence of the peasants from the landowners. They become middlemen, asking protection money (pizzu) to keep the `social peace' intact and form an `Honorable Society', the Mafia.
In the 1920s, the Secret Sect is banned by the fascists. But, it regains a strong position during and after WW II through its `Unholy Alliance' with the Vatican, the Christian Democrats and US intelligence in their fight against the communists.
The influence of the rural Mafia in Sicily ends with the framing and the death of Salvatore Giuliano.

Second Period (20th century - US - Italy)
In the US, the Sicilian Mafia forms a criminal (not a social) organization whose financial strength is built on alcohol trafficking (the Prohibition period) and prostitution (firmly controlled by Lucky Luciano).
With the return of Lucky Luciano in his `motherland' and his alliance with US intelligence, the Mafia could infiltrate and corrupt the Italian political system (Licio Gelli and the Masonic Lodge P2). Other revenue sources appear (kidnapping, drug trafficking).
The enormous revenues are laundered through the Vatican Bank and the Banco Ambrosiano (Michele Sindona, the deaths of Pope John Paul I and God's banker Roberto Calvi).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Historian on November 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
It took a Scottish Surgeon of Italian heritage to write one of the best books l have read on the history of the Sicilian Mafia from its origins to the present day. The author is very familiar with Sicily and its history through his heritage and many trips to the Island.

He even also gives a brief history of Garibaldi and the unification of Italy with its effects on Sicily as well as the effect of the Bourbon Empire, even Horatio Nelson and the British Empire gets a brief mention.
19th and 20th local Government of Sicily and Mafia relationships are also well covered up to the present day!

Of course the USA Mafia figures largely in the book and its relationship to the Sicilian Mafia, the author makes the comment that Lucky Luciano was the cleverest Mafioso of them all and details his criminal empire and organizational skills, l agree with his assessment. The author concludes that the Sicilian Mafia is now on the verge of possible extinction in 2008! Maybe so but l think maybe not! This book is well worth the read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua T on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Mafia" packs a great deal of history and sociology in less than 400 pages. The writing is concise to the point that a key connective clause sometimes appears to have been omitted, but the wealth of mature insight offers an important guide on "how the mafia thinks" (in the words of a successful prosecutor).

The author offers inside information within an impressive context of general knowledge. I recommend this highly.
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By Robin Massie on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a Christmas gift to my Father in-law and he loves it.... Has barely put it down yet...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Salemi on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is amateurishly-written, as though maybe it were a PhD thesis and they turned it into a book to capitalize on the interest in Mafia books. There are so many more books that are much, much better than this. Telling: The Author uses Exclamation Points Constantly, in places where a period would be better. Only buy this if you are desperate for Sicillian Mafia Content.
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