Synopses & Reviews
Before the Five Families who so notoriously dominated U.S. organized crime for a bloody half-century, there was the one-fingered, surpassingly cunning Giuseppe Morello and his murderous coterie of brothers. Born into a life of poverty in rural Sicily, Morello became an American nightmare, pioneering the bizarre initiation rituals, imaginative protection rackets, influential underworld reigns, and Mafia wars later popularized by countless books, television shows, and movies.
In The First Family, Mike Dash tells the little known story of the Morello family. He follows the birth of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the wharves of New Orleans—where Morello himself disembarked in the United States—to the streets of Little Italy. Using previously untapped secret service archives, prison records, and interviews with surviving family members, Dash brings to life the remarkable villains and unusual heroes of the Mafia's early years, from the colorful members of the Morello family to Joseph Petrosino, an Italian cop with a thick Naples accent, and William Flynn, a dogged U.S. Secret Service agent, who banded together to bring down Morello.
More than just a pulse-quickening Mafia narrative, The First Family is the first authoritative account of a particularly crucial period in American history, in which the modern American underworld was born.
"Altogether excellent.... Dash writes with flair and care alike." ---Kirkus Starred Review
For Sopranos watchers, Godfather aficionados, and all other Mafia buffs, this is the gripping story of the birth of the Italian Mafia in America.
About the Author
Mike Dash is a historian with an MA from Cambridge University and a PhD from the University of London. A former professional journalist with articles in numerous national newspapers and magazines, Dash is the author of seven books, including Satan's Circus, Thug, Batavia's Graveyard, and Tulipomania. He lives in London with his wife and daughter. Lloyd James has been narrating since 1996, has recorded over six hundred books in almost every genre, has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards, and is a two-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award. His bestselling and most critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley, Jr., Ben Hur by Lew Wallace, Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitskin, and Mystic Warrior by Tracy and Laura Hickman. Lloyd's background as a performer includes extensive work in classical theater and folk music. He lives in Maryland with his wife and children.