An Offer We Can't Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America

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Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Jan 23, 2007 - Social Science - 438 pages
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"Invites Italian-Americans of all backgrounds to the family table to discuss how mob-related movies and television shows have affected the very notion of what their heritage still means in the 21st century." --Allen Barra, The New York Sun

"A detailed, textured meditation. Whether De Stefano is summarizing causes of 19th-century Italian immigration, sketching the Mafia's origin in Sicily, or dissecting the appeal of Hollywood mobster characters, he catches links to evolving capitalism, discomfort with modern society, psychological urges for strong father figures, and other complex topics not usually addressed by opponents of Mafia pop culture. [De Stefano] provokes hard thought about why the Mafia, to the exclusion of almost every other dimension of Italian American life, stays lodged in 'the Mind of America.'" --Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Fascinating." --James F. Sweeney, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"Not a history of organized crime but a study of how we think about organized crime, more precisely about Italians and crime. . . Valuable and interesting." --Elliott J. Gorn, Chicago Tribune

"A thoughtful, thorough analysis." --Renee Graham, The Boston Globe
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Escaping the Southern
19
Mediterranean Menace American Myth
40
The Appeal of Pure Power
70
Don Corleone Was My Grandfather
95
The Sopranos Rewrites
136
Sex and Gender in the Mafia Myth
180
Race
231
The Politics
295
Addio Godfather?
344
Notes
395
Acknowledgments
419
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

George De Stefano is a journalist and critic who has written extensively on culture for numerous publications, including The Nation, Film Comment, and Newsday.

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