Defiance: the story of one man who stood up to the Sicilian mafia

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I. B. Tauris, Jan 15, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 214 pages
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In 1960's Sicily, the Mafia were everywhere -- and never seen. In the town of Cinisi, known as 'Mafiopoli', their power was unspoken, and absolute: 'it's in the air that you breathe' as the locals used to say. One man however, dared to speak out. Like many Sicilians, Peppino Impastato was born into a family with strong Mafia affiliations. When his uncle was brutally murdered in 1963, Peppino decided to dedicate his life to opposing the Mafia. No-one had ever talked about the Mafia in public before, let alone attacked them. Determined to take on the forces of corruption and privilege, Peppino led a people's movement against the Mafia, launching a national radio station on which he savagely pilloried both the organization and its allies in the Catholic Church. Peppino was punished for his defiance -- he was violently murdered. The spark he lit, however, has not died. On the anniversary of his death, Italy held its first ever national anti-Mafia rally, and today a new generation of activists inspired by Peppino campaigns for truth and justice. In this compelling book, based on exclusive interviews with members of the Impastato family and those who knew them , Tom Behan takes us inside the murky world of 'Mafiopoli', and tells for the first time a tale of courage and resistance in the very heartland of Mafia power.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
1
Crazy Waves
109
The Last Crazy Wave
130
And the Windows Stayed Shut
138
The Light Behind the Blinds
155
The Bells of St Fara
179
Afterword
193
Bibliography
203
Acknowledgements
209
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Tom Behan is a lecturer in Italian at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and has written numerous books, including See Naples and Die: The Camorra and Organised Crime (IB Tauris, 2002) and The Resistible Rise of Benito Mussolini (Bookmarks, 2003). He is an expert on Italian organized crime.

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