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Books on Organized Crime in the United States
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Recommended Books on Organized Crime

The Company She Keeps
by Georgia Durante
An insider's view of the Mob. Five Stars!
Hardcover - 456 pages
Celebrity Books; ISBN: 1580291058

Black Mass : The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between FBI and the Irish Mob
by Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill
John Connolly, a rising FBI agent and fellow "Southie," had known the Bulgers since boyhood when Whitey rescued him from a playground fight. After investigating organized crime in New York, Connolly was reassigned to the bureau's Boston office in 1975, and was determined to make a name for himself by relying on his old connections. He succeeded in a big way by lining up Whitey as an FBI informant in an effort to bring down the Italian Mafia--a major coup for both the FBI and Connolly. In exchange, Bulger received protection. Though heavily involved in extortion, intimidation, assassination, and drug trafficking, Connolly's "good bad guy" did not receive so much as a traffic infraction for over 20 years. In time, however, the deal changed, and information began flowing the other direction, with Bulger manipulating Connolly and a small group of corrupt FBI agents to further his nefarious network. The criminals and the lawmen eventually became virtually indistinguishable... Sharon M. Brown -
Paperback - 424 pages (May 22, )
Harperperennial Library; ISBN: 0060959258

Murder Machine : A True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia
by Gene Mustain, Jerry Capeci (Contributor)
An account of the exploits of the DeMeo gang--the most deadly hit men in organized crime--describes how their Mafia higher-ups came to know them, use them for profit and pleasure, and fear them. Ingram
Paperback Reprint edition (July 1993)
Onyx Books; ISBN: 0451403878

Donnie Brasco : My Undercover Life in the Mafia
by Joseph D. Pistone, Richard Woodley (Contributor)
In Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone tells the story of working so deep undercover in the Mafia that the truth of his identity became blurry even for him. For six years, Pistone posed as jewel thief Donnie Brasco in order to pull off one of the most audacious sting operations ever. Because any small detail could blow his cover, Pistone adjusted his personality and habits to earn the trust of Mafia soldiers, connected guys, captains, and godfathers. He was so successful that many FBI surveillance teams assumed that he was yet another Mafia guy. This memoir paints a vivid portrait of the underworld of wise guys by revealing their code of honor, their treacherous dealings, their relationships with their wives and mistresses, and their lavish money habits. The suspense in Pistone's story builds as he unfurls his experience of life on the edge of good and evil and on the verge of death. 

Further Reading

Blood Covenant: The Michael Franzese Story
Blood Covenant: The Michael Franzese Story
by Michael Franzese, Dary Matera
Book Description: A sworn member of the Colombo crime family in New York City, Michael Franzese was considered the biggest moneymaker in the mob since Al Capone. 

At age 35, he was number eighteen on Fortune magazine's list of the fifty most wealthy and powerful Mafia bosses in America. But then he did the unthinkable. He quit the mob. 

Franzese met Camille Garcia, who turned his world upside down with her innocent beauty. He fell in love with her, married her, and began a new life that didn't include the Mafia. Nobody of Franzese's rank ever just walked away from the mob and lived to tell about it. But Franzese has somehow managed to avoid the grave after he turned his back on the past. But what made him leave the lavish lifestyle of the Mafia? And how has he escaped what should have been sure death after he quit the mob? Now, in one of the most fascinating books ever written about today's Mafia, Michael Franzese reveals the answers to the many mysteries surrounding his incredible life. Walk the streets with him and find out how and why he has done what no one else managed to do--and live. 

Journey with him through a life defined by two blood covenants... The first bound him to the mob. The second set him free. 
Hardcover from Whitaker House

Barry & 'the Boys' : The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History
by Daniel Hopsicker
This is the story of Barry Seal, the biggest drug smuggler in American history, who died in a hail of bullets with George Bush's private phone number in his wallet...
Listed under Barry and 'the Boys'

Blood Washes Blood : A True Story of Love, Murder, and Redemption Under the Sicilian Sun
by Frank Viviano 

Bound by Honor : A Mafioso's Story
by Bill Bonanno 

The Boys from New Jersey: How the Mob Beat the Feds
by Robert Rudolph
Paperback: 435 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.93 x 9.26 x 6.04
Publisher: Rutgers University Press; ; Reprint edition (April )
ISBN: 0813521548

Comrade Criminal: Russia's New Mafiya
by Stephen Handelman
Listed under Russian Mafia

Contract on America : The Mafia Murder of President John F. Kennedy
David E. Scheim
Listed under Kennedy Assassination

Double Deal : The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster
Double Deal : The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster
by Sam Giancana, Michael Corbitt
Book Description: A provocative exposé of organized crime and its unholy alliance with world leaders, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement, Double Deal is a forty-year saga told with unflinching honesty by mob insider and former chief of police Michael Corbitt....
...Corbitt's stunning revelations have been corroborated by FBI agents and court and government documents. From the murder of Chicago boss Sam Giancana to the myth of a "clean" Las Vegas, he tells it like it was -- and still is. From Noriega to the Shah of Iran, Israel and its deadly Mossad, drug running, arms deals, money laundering, murder, and intrigue, it's all here in Double Deal, making this as much the story of one man's amazing double life as it is of the mob's terrifying reach into our world today.
Hardcover from William Morrow
Fighting the Mafia and Renewing Sicilian Culture
by Leoluca Orlando
Friend of the Family: An Undercover Agent in the Mafia
Friend of the Family: An Undercover Agent in the Mafia
by D. Lea Jacobs, Anthony Daniels
Book Description: During his 20 years in the FBI, Special Agent Ed Robb wrote the book on penetrating the Mob: he was among the first undercover agents in FBI history and, in the end, proved to be the best. His Mafia stings resulted in over 200 convictions. Along the way, he was contracted to hit a family member, was designated a Mob boss, and was in line to become a made man. Robb was one of the handful of courageous men who turned the tide against the Mob, from the inside out. This is the story of how they did it. 
Hardcover from The Compass Press
Mafia Dynasty : The Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family
by John H. Davis 

The Mafia Manager : A Guide to the Corporate Machiavelli
by V

The Mafia Encyclopedia
The Mafia Encyclopedia
by Carl Sifakis
They're all there, starting with Anthony Joseph Accardo (1906-1992), the Chicago mob leader known as Tony to crime pals, Mr. Accardo to underlings, Joe Batters to his subordinates, and as "having more brains before breakfast than Al Capone had all day" to syndicate supporters, and working through the alphabet to Abner "Longy" Zwillman (1899-1959), a crime-syndicate founder and New Jersey boss, one of the most feared of the Jewish Mafia, known as the "Al Capone of new Jersey," and much revered for his love affair with Jean Harlow.

Between Accardo and Zwillman, Carl Sifakis explores the lives, reputations, exploits, and subcultures of more than 450 Mafia perpetrators and personalities. Sifakis describes the individuals, codes of behavior, misdeeds, legal scrapes, rivalries, and flamboyant lifestyles associated with the world of organized crime--an entity whose existence J. Edgar Hoover denied for 30 years. Sifakis's research is thorough, and his subjects are nefarious and riveting. It's his feel for storytelling, however, that makes his encyclopedia so enjoyable. He writes about infamous characters such as Al Capone (who felt his bootlegging was merely a public service) and John Gotti (a.k.a. the Teflon Don, who's now serving a life sentence) as well as the Mafia Social Clubs, Donnie Brasco (the FBI agent who infiltrated the mob and sent more than 100 mobsters to prison), and the importance of slot machines to the post-Prohibition welfare of organized crime.

With nearly 100 pictures and illustrations, Sifakis's mob opus is required reading for Mafia buffs, and a remarkably engaging guide for anyone interested in a factual report on organized crime. --Stephanie Gold -
Paperback from Checkmark Books

Murder, Inc. : The Story of the Syndicate
by Burton B. Turkus, Sid Feder (Contributor)
(Paperback - April 1992)

Gotti : Rise and Fall
by Jerry Capeci, et al 

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
by Jimmy Breslin 

The Merger : The Conglomeration of International Organized Crime
by Jeffrey Robinson
When telecommunications companies merge, the news is immediately analyzed by the media and government agencies. Owners of the companies' stock immediately vote on the wisdom of the move by buying or selling. But when criminal organizations merge and make their operations global, it takes years for law enforcement to figure out what happened, who was involved, and what the implications are. Ever since Italian-American mobster Lucky Luciano linked Mafia families in Sicily and the U.S., crime cartels have been finding ways to expand their operations across national borders, making those countries' policemen play an extended game of catch-up. Jeffrey Robinson is an authority on international crime, especially money laundering, and his book The Merger sometimes reads like a crime novel. It seems strange to imagine that Mexican drug traffickers would be working closely with Thai postal workers; that a billion dollars a month in drug money would be laundered from Russian gangs through Greek Cypriots and then moved on to respectable financial centers such as London and New York; that Colombian drug cartels would get kerosene--an important ingredient for making cocaine--from Turkmenistan by way of Argentina; that Eastern European criminals would claim to be Jewish so they could get Israeli passports and launder money in the Holy Land. And that's just for-profit criminality--politically and religiously motivated crime has long been international and is rapidly branching out into cyberterrorism.

Robinson concludes with a note that international drug trafficking is growing so fast it now represents 2 percent of the world's economy. However, while criminal organizations think globally, Robinson writes, most law enforcement is set up to act locally. Nations can't decide how to deal with the problem because none wants to be the first to sacrifice national sovereignty for the greater purpose of slowing crime. If this book doesn't keep you up at night, or at least raise some serious goose flesh, you're made of pretty stern stuff. --Lou Schuler -
Hardcover: 470 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.22 x 9.36 x 6.41
Overlook Press; ISBN: 1585670308;

The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America
by Sally Denton, Roger Morris
"There is no place like it. It is literally a beacon of Civilization.... Only Mecca inspires as many pilgrims." So write Sally Denton and Roger Morris about Las Vegas, Nevada, which emerged in the last years of the 20th century as America's fastest-growing city, and in the process, a family-entertainment and cultural center. But underlying that Las Vegas--and underlying the authors' fine narrative--is an older, decidedly less friendly city, one shaped by an "alliance of gamblers, gangsters, and government" to cater to every kind of human weakness. This Las Vegas, populated by notorious criminals, dangerous eccentrics, and ambitious empire-builders, exercised an extraordinary influence on the nation's politics and economy. Few presidents elected in the last century did not come calling on the desert city to secure funds and favors, even as Las Vegas's thriving economy came under the control of a handful of powerful men.

Full of strange episodes and characters, the history of Las Vegas is too little known. Denton and Morris's revisionist, past-as-prologue look at how Las Vegas came to be is a startling, original work that adds much to our understanding of recent American history. --Gregory McNamee -
Roughcut: 479 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.52 x 9.60 x 6.54
Knopf; ISBN: 037540130X; (April 3, )

Murder in Sin City : The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss
by Jeff German

The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
by Gus Russo
Hardcover: 550 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.89 x 9.58 x 6.53
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; ; (April )
ISBN: 1582341761

Rebels and Mafiosi : Death in a Sicilian Landscape
by James Fentress

The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia : Corn Sugar and Blood
by Rick Porrello

Transnational Criminal Organizations, Cybercrime, and Money Laundering : A Handbook for Law Enforcement Officers, Auditors, and Financial investigator
by James R. Richards
Hardcover: 344 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 9.58 x 6.44
CRC Press; ISBN: 0849328063; (October 20, )

Transnational Crime in the Americas by Tom Farer (Editor)

Underboss : Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia
by Peter Maas 

Wiseguy : Life in a Mafia Family
by Nicholas Pileggi
(Paperback - September 1990)

Fiction - Books on the Mob

The Godfather
by Mario Puzo 
Fictional masterpiece on the Mob
(Hardcover - June 1969)

by Mario Puzo 
The third novel in Mario Puzo's Mafia trilogy.

Lethal Seduction
by Jackie Collins 

by Laurence Shames 
Fiction about the Mob
(Paperback - )
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