Synopses & Reviews
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 Societys 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 Italys 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 Europes wholesale cocaine trade and about three percent of Italys 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 Italys weakness as it is about the mafias 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 Italys unique criminal underworld, and the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that have evolved within it, to life on the page.
and#147;Dickieand#8217;s absorbing history of the Italian mob makes The Godfather look like a fairy taleand#133; These and#145;men of honorand#8217; and and#145;lads with attitudeand#8217; created their own myths. Until Dickieand#8217;s revelatory book, most believed them.and#8221;and#151;Kirkus starred review
Dickies absorbing history of the Italian mob makes The Godfather look like a fairy tale
These men of honor and lads with attitude created their own myths. Until Dickies revelatory book, most believed them.”Kirkus starred review
"Dickies extremely well-researched book has an extensive list of (mostly Italian) sources and covers the history and geography of Italy and provides historical analysis. He writes clearly and cleverly.”Library Journal
MAFIA. CAMORRA. NDRANGHETA.
The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, is far from being Italys only dangerous criminal fraternity. The country hosts two other major mafias: the camorra from Naples; and, from the poor and isolated region of Calabria, the mysterious ndrangheta, which has now risen to become the most powerful mob group active today.
Since they emerged, the mafias have all corrupted Italys 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. Yet each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity. Each is uniquely adapted to corrupt and exploit its own specific environment, as it collaborates with, learns from, and goes to war with the other mafias.
Today, the shadow of organized crime hangs over a country racked by debt, political paralysis, and widespread corruption. The ndrangheta controls much of Europes wholesale cocaine trade and, by some estimates, 3 percent of Italys total GDP. Blood Brotherhoods traces the origins of this national malaise back to Italys roots as a united country in the nineteenth century, and shows how political violence incubated underworld sects among the lemon groves of Palermo, the fetid slums of Naples, and the harsh mountain villages of Calabria.
Blood Brotherhoods is a book of breathtaking ambition, tracing for the first time the interlocking story of all three mafias from their origins to the present day. John Dickie is recognized in Italy as one of the foremost historians of organized crime. In these pages, he blends archival detective work, passionate narrative, and shrewd analysis to bring a unique criminal ecosystemand the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that have evolved within itto life on the page.
About the Author
is professor of Italian Studies at University College London. In 2005 the President of the Italian Republic appointed him a Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana. John has published widely in academic journals on various topics in Italian history and he has also written extensively for the press in the UK, Italy and other countries. Apart from Cosa Nostra
, he is the author of two further books: Darkest Italy. The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900
(New York, 1999) and (Rome, 2008) Una catastrofe patriottica. 1908: il terremoto di Messina
. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Sarah Penny, and their two children.