The Neighborhood Outfit

The Neighborhood Outfit : Organized Crime in Chicago Heights

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From the slot machine trust of the early 1900s to the prolific Prohibition era bootleggers allied with Al Capone, and for decades beyond, organized crime in Chicago Heights, Illinois, represented a vital component of the Chicago Outfit. Louis Corsino taps interviews, archives, government documents, and his own family's history to tell the story of the Chicago Heights "boys" and their place in the city's Italian American community in the twentieth century. Debunking the popular idea of organized crime as a uniquely Italian enterprise, Corsino delves into the social and cultural forces that contributed to illicit activities. As he shows, discrimination blocked opportunities for Italians' social mobility and the close-knit Italian communities that arose in response to such limits produced a rich supply of social capital Italians used to pursue alternative routes to success that ranged from Italian grocery stores to union organizing to, on occasion, crime.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 184 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 3 black and white photographs, 1 chart, 7 tables
  • 0252038711
  • 9780252038716

Review quote

"An in-depth historical review and analysis of an important part of organized crime, the "Outfit," in the Cook County, Illinois, suburb of Chicago Heights. This outstanding work of scholarship makes use of popular and scholarly sources, including the author's own family whose roots in the community go back generations. His book is a must for anyone interested in organized crime in Chicago and its environs."
--Howard Abadinsky, author of Organized Crime

"Corsino succeeds in The Neighborhood Outfit, demolishing the essentialist perspective on Italian American participation in organized crime."--Italian American Review
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About Louis Corsino

Louis Corsino is a professor of sociology at North Central College.
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