Mafia Business

Mafia Business : The Mafia Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

3.55 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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This book is an account both of the old Mafia of the Godfather and of its transformation into a network of gangsters and capitalists today, posing a major threat to democratic politics. The new Mafia combines large-scale business and banking activity with drug dealing, political corruption and widespread violence. Powerful, ruthless and rich, it has convulsed Southern Italy with a spate of murders. Its victims include an MP, a celebrated general, judges and prosecutors, policemen and ordinary citizens. It has turned itself into an entrepreneurial machine of a formidable kind, enjoying advantages denied to ordinary capitalist more

Product details

  • Paperback | 258 pages
  • 127 x 190.5 x 20.32mm | 204.12g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1 map, index
  • 0192851977
  • 9780192851970

Review Text

The inner workings of the Mafia have long fascinated outsiders and with good reason: Mafiosos have been painted as mythic heroes, near-legendary, larger-than-life figures. What Arlacchi attempts here is to scale down the myth by the simple expedient of reminding us that these men are criminals. Unfortunately, Arlacchi, a sociologist, has clogged up what should be a riveting read with a plodding, slow style that seems most comfortable when discussing abstractions of behavioral patterns, far less certain when it attempts to deal with these criminals on everyday human terms. Among some of the findings which await fuller treatment from more skilled literary talents: many new mob recruits are not taken from the Southern Italian slums but from Northern Italian universities; there is an interplay between youthful political enthusiasm and a life of crime; and lastly, that the Italian upper classes and the Mafia have close links and interdependencies that help perpetuate both. Mafia Business, however, is as frustrating as the war on crime itself: just when its turgid prose reaches a nadir, up pops a page or, sentence that re-galvanizes the reader's attention. But in the end, it's strictly for serious students of organized crime. Puzo fans, look elsewhere. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 44% (4)
3 33% (3)
2 11% (1)
1 0% (0)
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