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

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Pavilion Books, Apr 27, 2006 - Fiction - 784 pages
3 Reviews

"Talk about stranger than fiction. Selwyn Raab tells riveting, true tales of the fabled mob figures. It's 'The Godfather' annotated – a classic piece of reporting by a man who knows the bloody, brutal, corrupt territory." – Mike Wallace, '60 Minutes'

This extensively researched account of the fabled New York mob figures we alternately despise and glamorize provides the most comprehensive history of the city's criminal empires that have intimidated, killed and fleeced Americans and confounded law enforcement for over 100 years.

From their New York headquarters, the Bonnano, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese crime 'familes' have created a vast domain with outposts along the East Coast, Florida, California and Las Vegas. With influence over everything from the price of fruit and vegetables, waterfront commerce in America's largest port, the construction industry, local and national government, the FBI, even refuse collection and the heroin trade, the Cosa Nostra's hold on everyday life is unprecedented.

Selwyn Raab has managed to persuade mafiosi and their helpmates to talk candidly for the first time, and he unravels their mysterious codes and culture to elucidate the art of surviving in a volatile criminal environment.

In the light of the success of John Dickie's bestselling 'Cosa Nostra' and the enduring allure of the Mafia in pop culture ('The Sopranos', 'The Godfather Returns'), this fascinating and definitive work is at once a history of the world's most sophisticated and lucrative underworld phenomena and an investigation into the pillage of New York's richest city and region. Selwyn Raab not only reveals where the bodies are buried, he brings them back to life.

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So far so good

User Review  - davem66 -

I have started the book but since it has many pages I havent finished it yet. I know much about the subject matter but I have found things in the book that I didnt know. It is compelling reading. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - IvoShandor - LibraryThing

Bonnano, Gambino, Colombo, Genovese and Lucchese. The Five Families. They have infected public consciousness through media and academia – often being presented in a positive light. Investigative ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Selwyn Raab was an investigative reporter for "The New York Times," covering organized crime and criminal justice matters for twenty-five years. He is also the author of "Justice in the Back Room" and "Mob Lawyer," He lives in New York.

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