Blood Brotherhoods

Blood Brotherhoods

A History of Italy's Three Mafias

eBook - 2014
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"In Blood Brotherhoods John Dickie examines the myths surrounding the three largest and most violent mafia groups in Italy--the Camorra, Cosa Nostra, and 'ndrangheta--divulging the secrets, histories and documents of the real stories behind the Honored Society's most brutal crimes. Each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity and corruption. Yet violence is only the beginning. The mafias have corrupted Italy's institutions, drastically curtailed the life-chances of its citizens, evaded justice, and set up their own self-interested meddling as an alternative to the courts. The staggering reach of organized crime in Italy hangs over a nation racked by debt, political paralysis, and widespread corruption. The largest mafia factions control much of Europe's wholesale cocaine trade and about three percent of Italy's total GDP"-- Provided by publisher.
"Through a riveting narrative both disturbing and disturbingly relevant to the present, Blood Brotherhoods shines a new light on the development of organized crime in Italy. Dickie draws on research that has never been seen before to examine the myths surrounding the three largest and most violent mafia groups--divulging the secrets, intrigues, histories and documents of the real stories behind the Honored Society's most brutal crimes. Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia made infamous to Americans by television shows like The Sopranos and classic films like The Godfather is not the only dangerous criminal fraternity active in Italy. The country hosts two other major mafias: the Camorra from Naples and the 'ndrangheta, the Mafia from the poor and isolated region of Calabria that has now risen to become the most powerful mob group active today. Each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity and corruption. Yet violence is only the beginning. The mafias have corrupted Italy's institutions, drastically curtailed the life-chances of its citizens, evaded justice, and set up their own self-interested meddling as an alternative to the courts. The staggering reach of organized crime in Italy hangs over a nation racked by debt, political paralysis, and widespread corruption. The largest mafia factions control much of Europe's wholesale cocaine trade and about three percent of Italy's total GDP. These are not solitary or static criminal organisms, nor are the Mafiosi that comprise them primitive gangsters. Sicily might have given the world the term 'mafia,' but the history of organized crime in Italy is as much about Italy's weakness as it is about the mafia's strength. Italy itself is revealed to be a criminal ecosystem and a key player, in its own right, within the bowels of the Honored Society. Blood Brotherhoods is a book of breathtaking ambition. It blends archival detective work, passionate narrative, and shrewd analysis to bring Italy's unique criminal underworld, and the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that have evolved within it, to life on the page. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, PublicAffairs,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781610394284
1610394283
Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xlv, 748 pages) : illustrations, maps

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VaughanPLKarenL Mar 12, 2017

It’s incredible how long the Sicilian Mafia was able to get by, claiming its own nonexistence, as well as how the ‘ndrangheta are apparently not yet recognized as a criminal organization as such at the time Dickie was writing Blood Brotherhoods (the timelines stretch into over a hundred years since the inception of both organizations, which is mind-boggling). Of course, this is and was made possible by the links between the different mafias of Italy and the state, both in terms of the government as well as its people, through intimidation and give-and-take cooperation that exchanges favours and money both. The constant waffling of the Italian government also contributed a great deal to the mafias’ flourishing, as the more powerful and influential the mafias got (and get) – the more ingrained they become in the societal fabric – the harder it becomes to purge the state of them. Dickie intertwines the histories of the three mafias that have dominated Italian soil such that we are able to see how these organizations did not, and do not, exist independently of each other, rather learning from each other’s mistakes and adapting to (or failing to adapt to) new challenges; the mafias are not static entities, existing rather like organisms adapting to their environments.
I would really like to see how the mafias of Italy have also interacted with other criminal organizations around the world (in other worlds, an expansion of this book’s subject matter from Italian mafias to all the main criminal organizations that have originated – or continue to originate from – other countries worldwide), and how becoming linked to these other countries’ syndicates has influenced each of the parties involved!

VaughanPLDaniel Dec 22, 2016

What I was most surprised to discover, in the early chapters of this book, was the ways in which origins of the various criminal fraternities in southern Italy, known collectively abroad as the "mafia," coincided with the origin of the Italian state during the late 19th century. To achieve their goal of a unified Italian state, Italian politicians struck secret deals with members of the top of the criminal food chain in the crime and poverty-ridden south, establishing a criminal-state partnership, which, some would argue, exists to this day. The history of the Italian mafia is the history of the Italian state .

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