Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 13, 2014 - True Crime - 784 pages
39 Reviews
Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese. For decades these Five Families ruled New York and built the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) into an underworld empire. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals and generational changes that produced violent and unreliable leaders and recruits. A twenty year assault against the five families in particular blossomed into the most successful law enforcement campaign of the last century.
Selwyn Raab's Five Families is the vivid story of the rise and fall of New York's premier dons from Lucky Luciano to Paul Castellano to John Gotti and more. The book also brings the reader right up to the possible resurgence of the Mafia as the FBI and local law enforcement agencies turn their attention to homeland security and away from organized crime.

  

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Review: Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires

User Review  - Dave Scrip - Goodreads

Definitive History. A comprehensive history of the five mafia families in New York City. Well written by Raab. A lengthy page turner written in narrative form. Read full review

Review: Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires

User Review  - Carol-Anne - Goodreads

A well researched book about the five Mafia families, their exploits and their legal battles. There is a fair amount violence throughout the book and many executions - it gets tiring. Overall, it is a very informative book in 750 pages. Read full review

Contents

1 A Fiery Saint
1
2 Tumacs Tale
9
3 Roots
13
4 The Castellammarese War
22
5 Dirty Thirties
35
6 Runaway Jury
44
7 Unlucky Lucky
50
8 Prime Minister
58
35 Hes Like Robin Hood
397
36 Mrs Cirellis Holiday
416
37 I Want to Switch Governments
431
38 Bitter Aftermath
443
39 SelfWorship
454
40 Gaspipe
469
41 Blood Purge
478
42 The Professor and Fat Pete
491

9 Murder Inc
66
10 A Profitable War
74
11 Serene Times
81
12 Wake Up America
96
13 Heroin and Apalachin
108
14 Death of a President
125
15 The Ring of Truth
139
16 A Splendid Band The Mob
155
17 The Birth of RICO
171
18 Unity Day
184
19 Ubazze and Lilo
193
20 The FBI Wises Up
209
21 The Big Boys
223
22 Operation Jaguar
235
23 Planting Season
246
24 This Is It
256
25 The Curtain Rises
270
26 The Concrete Club
285
27 Far from Finished
300
28 Turning Point
309
29 Snake Charmer
321
30 Carmines War
332
31 Dynasty
344
32 A Hell of a Legacy
350
33 QuackQuack
363
34 Shame on Them
379
43 Tumacs Turn
502
44 455 Years in Prison
510
45 Team America
526
46 The Pajama Game
531
47 Psychological Warfare
540
48 The Real Boss
554
49 Chins Millions
564
50 I Know Where Bodies Are Buried
574
51 Brought to Bay
585
52 Chins Last Hurrah
596
53 Nothing Magical Forensic Accounting
601
54 You Did a Good Job Louie
604
55 GoodLooking Sal
615
56 The Mobs Horatio Alger
624
57 The Genial Godfather aka The Ear
637
58 Mafia Groupies
653
59 Divide and Conquer
665
60 The Domino Syndrome
673
Afterword Back to the Caves
689
Appendix A Family Trees
709
Appendix B Mafia Boss Succession
712
Principal Sources and References
715
Selected Bibliography
742
Index
747
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 15 - The extended range of our researches has developed the existence of the secret organization styled " Mafia. " The evidence comes from several sources, fully competent in themselves to attest its truth, while the fact is supported by the long record of blood-curdling crimes, it being almost impossible to discover the perpetrators or secure witnesses.
Page 11 - ... life, a conception of society, a moral code, a particular susceptibility, prevailing among all Sicilians . . . They are taught in the cradle, or are born already knowing, that they must aid each other, side with their friends and fight...
Page 11 - The word Mafia stands here for several distinct things. First, it represents a general attitude towards the State and the State's law which is not necessarily any more criminal than the very similar attitude of, let us say, public schoolboys towards their masters. A mafioso did not invoke State or law in his private quarrels, but made himself respected and safe by winning a reputation for toughness and courage, and settled his differences by fighting.

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About the author (2014)

Since 1974, Selwyn Raab has been a reporter for The New York Times and has won dozens of awards for his coverage of the Mafia. He's appeared countless times on both local and national news shows and in documentaries about the Mafia for the History Channel and A&E. More than a newsman he is also something of a crusader, having played an important role in exposing fabricated testimony surrounding the conviction of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Raab is also the author of Justice in the Back Room which was the basis for the legendary "Kojak" television series and the very successful Mob Lawyer, which shed new light on who killed Jimmy Hoffa and JFK.

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