Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226571324 Published April 1981


The Business of Crime

Italians and Syndicate Crime in the United States

Humbert S. Nelli

The Business of Crime

Humbert S. Nelli

328 pages | 49 halftones | © 1976
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226571324 Published April 1981
"Dr. Nelli . . . describes the kinds of crime that prevailed in Italian immigrant enclaves in America; like most American crime, then as now, Italian crime was one aspect of the so-called culture of urban poverty—boys graduated from street gangs to criminal gangs. None of these gangs were very big until Prohibition brought the Great Leap Forward, to a level that Dr. Nelli calls 'entrepreneurial crime.' His fine account makes sense of many murderous incidents, differentiates among places, and sketches individuals and the talents (Torrio's brains, Capone's brutality) that enabled them to rise in the underworld."—New Yorker

"A definitive history of organized crime in America."—American Historical Review
Part I. From Italy's South to America's South
1. Italy's South and La Mala Vita
2. Italian Immigrants and Criminals in New Orleans
3. Hennessy's Murder and the Mafia
Part II. The Immigrant Era
4. The Black Hand
5. Early Ventures in Syndicate Crime
Part III. Flowering of the Italian Syndicates
6. Prohibition: Consolidation of the Syndicates
7. "The Americanization of the Mobs"
8. The 'Thirties: No Depression for the Syndicates
9. The Summing Up—and a Glimpse Beyond
Chapter Notes
Bibliographic Note
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