Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime

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Through an investigation of Cosa Nostra's activities, reveals the role of organized crime in the urban power structure

Cosa Nostra. Organized crime. The Mob. Call it what you like, no other crime group has infiltrated labor unions and manipulated legitimate industries like Italian organized crime families. One cannot understand the history and political economy of New York City-or most other major American cities-in the 20th century without focusing on the role of organized crime in the urban power structure.

Gotham Unbound demonstrates the remarkable range of Cosa Nostra's activities and influence and convincingly argues that 20th century organized crime has been no minor annoyance at the periphery of society but a major force in the core economy, acting as a power broker, even as an alternative government in many sectors of the urban economy. James B. Jacobs presents the first comprehensive account of the ways in which the Cosa Nostra infiltrated key sectors of New York City's legitimate economic life and how this came over the years to be accepted as inevitable, in some cases even beneficial. The first half of Gotham Unbound is devoted to the ways organized crime became entrenched in six economic sectors and institutions of the city-the garment district, Fulton Fish Market, freight at JFK airport, construction, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and the waste-hauling industry. The second half compellingly documents the campaign to purge the mob from unions, industries, and economic sectors, focusing on the unrelenting law enforcement efforts and the central role of Rudolph Giuliani's mayoral administration in devising innovative regulatory strategies to combat the mob.

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GOTHAM UNBOUND: How New York City Was Liberated from the Clutches of Cosa Nostra

User Review  - Kirkus

A terse, dramatic volume that provides a definitive overview of how Cosa Nostra obtained a stranglehold on the infrastructure of New York City and held it for much of this century. Jacobs (Law/New ... Read full review

Gotham unbound: how New York City was liberated from the grip of organized crime

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book will join Jacobs's Busting the Mob as key documentation of New York City's being "mobbed up" and of how the Cosa Nostra provides governmental functions in some industries. Gotham's scope is ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

James B. Jacobs, legal scholar and sociologist, was Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice, NYU School of Law. Among his books are Mobsters, Unions & Fed: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement, Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime, Busting the Mob: United States v. Cosa Nostra, and Corruption and Racketeering in the New York City Construction Industry, all published by NYU Press.

Coleen Friel, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City. Robert Raddick, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Robert Raddick, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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