Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-10-21
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

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Hailed in Italy as the best book ever written about the mafia in any language, Cosa Nostra is a fascinating, violent, and darkly comic account that reads like fiction and takes us deep into the inner sanctum of this secret society where few have dared to tread.In this gripping history of the Sicilian mafia, John Dickie uses startling new research to reveal the inner workings of this secret society with a murderous record. He explains how the mafia began, how it responds to threats and challenges, and introduces us to the real-life characters that inspired the American imagination for generations, making the mafia an international, larger than life cultural phenomenon. Dickie's dazzling cast of characters includes Antonio Giammona, the first "boss of bosses'; New York cop Joe Petrosino, who underestimated the Sicilian mafia and paid for it with his life; and Bernard "the Tractor" Provenzano, the current boss of bosses who has been hiding in Sicily since 1963.

Author Biography

John Dickie is a historian and journalist. He lectures in Italian Studies at University College London and has written on many aspects of Italian life.

Table of Contents

Prologue 13(8)
Introduction 21(6)
Men of Honour 27(266)
1. The Genesis of the Mafia 1860-1876
Sicily's Two Colours
Dr Galati and the Lemon Garden
Baron Turrisi Colonna and the 'Sect'
The Violence Industry
'The So-Called Maffia': How the Mafia Got its Name
2. The Mafia Enters the Italian System 1876-1890
'An Instrument of Local Government'
The Favara Brotherhood: the Mafia in Sulphur Country
3. Corruption in High Places 1890-1904
A New Breed of Politician
The Sangiorgi Report
The Notarbartolo Murder
4. Socialism, Fascism, Mafia 1893-1943
The Man with Hair on His Heart
5. The Mafia Establishes Itself in America 1900-1941
Joe Petrosino
Cola Gentile's America
6. War and Rebirth 1943-1950
Don Caló and the Rebirth of the Honoured Society
Meet the Grecos
The Last Bandit
7. God, Concrete, Heroin, and Cosa Nostra 1950-1963
The Early Life of Tommaso Buscetta
The Sack of Palermo
Joe Bananas Goes on Holiday
8. The 'First' Mafia War and its Consequences 1962-1969
The Ciaculli Bomb
Like Chicago in the Twenties? The First Mafia War
The Antimafia
'A Phenomenon of Collective Criminality'
9. The Origins of the Second Mafia War 1970-1982
Rise of the Corleonesi: 1—Luciano Leggio (1943-1970)
Leonardo Vitale's Spiritual Crisis
Death of a 'Leftist Fanatic': Peppino Impastato
Heroin: The Pizza Connection
Bankers, Masons, Tax Collectors, Mafiosi
Rise of the Corleonesi: 2—Towards the Mattanza (1970-1983)
10. Terra Infidelium 1983-1992 293(18)
The Virtuous Minority
Eminent Corpses
Watching the Bullfight
The Fate of the Maxi-Trial
11. Bombs and Submersion 1992-2003 311(28)
Totó Riina's Villa
After Capaci
'Uncle Giulio'
Enter the Tractor
The Major-Domo and the Ad Man
Acknowledgements 339(3)
Picture Acknowledgements 342(1)
Bibliography 343(12)
Notes on Sources 355(6)
Index 361

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