The Reading List: The Mafia

Alice-Azania Jarvis
Monday 24 January 2011 01:00
Comments

Fiction

The Godfather by Mario Puzo; RRP £7.99

The archetypal Mafia novel, Puzo's classic chronicles the evolution of a Sicilian Mafia family based in New York, under the stewardship of the title's "Godfather", Don Vito Corleone. Immortalised on the big screen in Francis Ford Coppola's famous trilogy, it remains the most recognised, and most significant, account of gangster life in popular culture.

History

Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia by John Dickie; RRP £8.99

Hailed by some as the best book ever written on the subject, Dickie's atmospheric study reads almost like fiction, as it intimately recounts the Mafia's origin story and subsequent development, from Sicily to New York. Over the years, the Mafia has assumed various guises: the Sect, the Brotherhood, the Honoured Society, and the Cosa Nostra. Throughout them all, certain standards and practices have remained constant.

Criminology

Codes of the Underworld by Diego Gambetta; RRP £24.95

How do criminals communicate with each other? In this comprehensive account, Gambetta looks at gangs across history, from the thugs of ancient Rome to the criminal rings of modern Japan and contemporary terrorist organisations, to explain how – despite the need to keep their dealings secret and the limitations this places on their ability to communicate – many criminals successfully stay in business.

Introductory

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia by Jerry Capeci; RRP £11

Don't be deterred by the title: far from idiotic, this work offers a comprehensive introductory account by Mafia expert and journalist Capeci. The Idiot's Guide includes accounts of shifting power and scintillating insider information on "Families" across the United States.

Society

Mafia & Mafiosi: Origin, Power, and Myth by Henner Hess; from £8.89 on Amazon

A classic first published more than a quarter of a century ago that takes into account the social, political and economic environments that have shaped the Sicilian Mafia. Hess highlights the tendency for Mafiosi to rise from poor families.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in