Synopses & Reviews
It has been called the most dangerous gang in American history. In Los Angeles alone it is responsible for over 100 homicides per year. Although it has fewer than 300 members, it controls a 40,000-strong street army that is eager to advance its agenda. It waves the flag of the Black Hand and its business is murder. Although known on the streets for over fifty years, the Mexican Mafia has flown under the radar of public awareness and has flourished beneath a deep cover of secrecy. Members are forbidden even to acknowledge its existence.
"'Rafael's debut book a study of the Southern California based Mexican mafia told mainly from the perspective of veteran Los Angeles deputy district attorney Anthony Manzella is a revealing but flawed work. Despite occasional national headlines about drive-by shootings that claim innocent lives (including the granddaughter of an LAPD chief), most Americans are probably unfamiliar with the powerful, loosely organized street gangs that make up the Mexican mafia. Rafael does a workmanlike job of tracing the rise of these gangs, despite the occasional factual error (e.g., the RICO statute was used to indict criminal groups besides La Cosa Nostra before the Mexican mafia), but fails to dramatize his overly detailed account of Manzella's trials. Manzella is an interesting enough figure a dedicated workaholic throwback who doesn't use a computer, or even an electric typewriter. But Rafael gives short shrift to the sociology of the rise of the Mexican mafia. Instead, he offers a final quote from Manzella ('We know exactly the kind of families that produce criminals. I'd like to go in there and take them out. But we can't do that') will leave many with a sour taste that undercuts Rafael's attempts to make the deputy DA a hero. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The Mexican Mafia is a pioneering work that unveils the operations of this California prison gang and describes how it grew from a small clique into a transnational criminal organization. The Mexican Mafia controls every Hispanic neighborhood in Southern California and is rapidly expanding its influence across the country. Riding a wave of unchecked immigration and seemingly eluding law enforcement, the Mexican Mafia is poised to become the Cosa Nostra of 21st century America.