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Mafia: The Government's Secret File on Organized Crime Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 30, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 30, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A treasure trove for true crime buffs and mob aficionados—the mug shots alone are worth the price of admission." -- Nicholas Pileggi

"Fascinating . . . . A panoramic view of the American underworld—the national face seen in a fun house mirror." -- Rich Cohen, New York Times Book Review

"Mafia is the Bible for Mafia-watchers and amateur detectives everywhere." -- Legs McNeil

"Make room on your true-crime bookshelf for this veritable high school yearbook of America’s criminal class." -- T.J. English

"For mobheads and true crime fanatics, [Mafia] is the equivalent of a hijacked truck of unmarked bills. It's also a quirky little slice of the American dream." (Salon.com )

"Fascinating . . . . A panoramic view of the American underworld-the national face seen in a fun house mirror." (Rich Cohen, New York Times Sunday Book Review )

"Mafia is the Bible for Mafia-watchers and amateur detectives everywhere." (Legs McNeil )

"Make room on your true-crime bookshelf for this veritable high school yearbook of America's criminal class." (T.J. English )

"A treasure trove for true crime buffs and mob aficionados-the mug shots alone are worth the price of admission." (Nicholas Pileggi )
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061363855
  • ASIN: B001CJP2HY
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,054,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hands down, MAFIA is a must-have reference book for organized crime researchers.

This book is an exact copy of the old Federal Bureau of Narcotics reference on 800 organized crime figures (circa the early 1960s) that thankfully has been reproduced for our enjoyment. This is definitely the "Mafia Bible" of that time period -- filled with information on gangsters from coast to coast.

The setup of the book -- which, again, is an exact copy of the original one -- is separated state by state. There is a California state dossier of mobsters from San Francisco to San Diego. This continues across the U.S. from Missouri to Massachusetts. It is very well organized, including a thorough index of all those profiled and in which other profiles they are listed as criminal associates of another profiled entry.

Best of all are the pictures included in all the entries of that profiled organized crime figure. Many of them I am quite certain have never been seen before outside of the original 50 copies printed by the FBN back in the early 1960s.

The only complaint (very small and probably insignificant to most others) I have is that the paper the book is printed on is quite thin, but then again there are like 500-plus pages, so I'm guessing that's why the paper is so thin so that all the profiles could fit into this big, fat book of facts and unparalleled information on some of the most notorious gangsters of the 20th Century.

In conclusion, I highly recommend MAFIA for any serious (or not-so-serious) researcher of organized crime. This is a book not only to enjoy but to cherish as the gem that it is. I have to thank the publishers for this one, so . . . thanks! MAFIA is well-worth the price of admission.
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Format: Hardcover
This is apparently an exact facsimile of a huge Federal Bureau of Narcotics report of which fifty copies were circulated within the Bureau during the late 1950s and early '60s. It was seemingly made from copy #31. Listing mini-dossiers, with photos, addresses, relatives, and criminal records of over 800 suspected Mafia members and associates, this is a valuable research tool for crime historians. It provides many leads on both notorious (or soon to be notorious) and obscure mobsters as well as a bird's eye view of just what the Government knew, or didn't know, about organized crime prior to the Valachi testimony (and Valachi is among those listed). Members are listed state by state, rather than by their then-unknown family affiliations, and strangely a few names of guys who are undoubtably long dead are blacked out but there is a veritable goldmine of entertaining information. There's a handy index of both names and aliases listed at the front of the book, rather than the back. There's also a forgettable and nonessential foreword by Sam Giancana, the namesake nephew of the murdered Chicago Outfit boss, which might have been better replaced by a page or two revealing just how these long buried FBN files fell into the publisher's hands. The book's cover is an instant eyecatcher on one's coffee table and the book itself will provide hours of entertainment for Mob or trivia buffs alike.
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Format: Hardcover
Difficult to add much more of substance to what Mr. Mattix has already said so well. Since I've bought the book, I've been unable to stop myself from compulsively flipping through it, again and again. Glancing through the section on NJ, for instance, some of these men-- a few as sinister in appearance as any 1930's scarfaced movie gangster, others with disconcertingly ordinary physiognomies-- lived in locations where I and my family have lived, which is a startling and somewhat chilling realization (although I was friendly in grade school with the son of a Colombo-affiliated hood named Fatty Russo, who killed a bartender and his wife at a drunken New Year's Eve party in 1971...an event described detail in Paul Meskil's 1976 book "The Luparelli Tapes"). A note to the casual reader, though-- some of the information in the book is erroneous, evidently reflecting the incomplete information the authorities had access to at the time it was put together. For instance, "Richard Boiardo" was actually Newark crime kingpin Ruggiero "The Boot" Boiardo (a friend's cousin used to have dinner on occasion with Boiardo, who allegedly cremated numerous enemies at his gothic-style estate in Livingston, and my friend remembered his father yelling at the cousin, "Do you know who those people are? Do you realize what could happen to you when you go out with them?"). This is a minor quibble, of course, and doesn't detract at all from the overall fascination of this very thick, very engrossing compilation. I like to think I'm reasonably well-informed when it comes to organized crime history, but there were items here that took me completely by surprise.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is exactly what I was looking for. Based on the brief summary of the book in the advertisement it was close enough in description to what I wanted to research. I usually only buy reference type books preferring books about life in the United States in the late 19th century to the early 20th century. This is a hard to find item locally and the price on Amazon was much lower that other sources of this type of book.
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