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Blood Brotherhoods: Book summary and reviews of Blood Brotherhoods by John Dickie

Blood Brotherhoods

A History of Italy's Three Mafias

by John Dickie

Blood Brotherhoods by John Dickie X
Blood Brotherhoods by John Dickie
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Book Summary

MAFIA. CAMORRA. 'NDRANGHETA.

The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, is far from being Italy's 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 Italy's 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 Europe's wholesale cocaine trade and, by some estimates, 3 percent of Italy's total GDP. Blood Brotherhoods traces the origins of this national malaise back to Italy's 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 ecosystem - and the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that have evolved within in - to life on the page.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Dickie's 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 Dickie's revelatory book, most believed them." - Kirkus

"Dickie's 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, and his style helps readers keep track of the numerous names and places. For serious "mafiologists" and students of Italian history." - Library Journal

The information about Blood Brotherhoods shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

John Dickie

John Dickie 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, Delizia!, he is the author of two further books: Darkest Italy: The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900 and Una catastrofe patriottica. 1908: il terremoto di Messina. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Sarah Penny, and their two children.

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