Breaking the Devil's Pact: The Battle to Free the Teamsters from the Mob

Breaking the Devil's Pact: The Battle to Free the Teamsters from the Mob

by James B. Jacobs, Kerry T. Cooperman
     
 

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In 1988, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani brought a massive civil racketeering suit against the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), at the time possibly the most corrupt union in the world. The lawsuit charged that the mafia had operated the IBT as a racketeering enterprise for decades, systematically violating the rights of members

Overview

In 1988, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani brought a massive civil racketeering suit against the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), at the time possibly the most corrupt union in the world. The lawsuit charged that the mafia had operated the IBT as a racketeering enterprise for decades, systematically violating the rights of members and furthering the interests of organized crime. On the eve of trial, the parties settled the case, and twenty years later, the trustees are still on the job.

Breaking the Devil’s Pact is an in-depth study of the U.S. v. IBT, beginning with Giuliani’s lawsuit and the politics surrounding it, and continuing with an incisive analysis of the controversial nature of the ongoing trusteeship. James B. Jacobs and Kerry T. Cooperman address the larger question of the limits of legal reform in the American labor movement and the appropriate level of government involvement.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In Breaking the Devil’s Pact, Jacobs and Cooperman persuasively show that the Teamsters could be freed from the tentacles of mob bosses only by an imaginative use of the civil remedies of RICO; as Congress rightly foresaw, criminal prosecutions alone were not enough.”-G. Robert Blakey,Notre Dame Law School, principal architect of RICO

"This is a stunning book not only for what it says about the dramatic battle against corruption in the nation's most powerful labor union, but as well for what it says about the role of courts in effecting changes in large-scale private organizations in modern America. It is a ‘must read’ for all law and politics scholars.” -Malcolm M. Feeley,Claire Sanders Clements Dean's Professor, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berk

"The definitive legal and political account of this piece of [Teamsters] history." -Library Journal

"This book should be of interest to all those interested in racketeering law, organized crime, and the role of the government in addressing entrenched organized crime and corruption in private organizations."-Jay Albanese,Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review

“It has long been clear that criminal prosecutions alone cannot remedy systemic organizational corruption. Criminologists, policymakers, prosecutors, and investigators will find much of interest in this well-written and important analysis of the government's use of the civil provisions of the RICO statute to purge organized crime's influence from the Teamsters Union. This invaluable case study demonstrates the advantages and pitfalls in using civil RICO to implement large-scale organizational reform.”-Ronald Goldstock,Commissioner, NYS Waterfront Commission, and former Director, NYS Organized Crime Task Force

“I salute Jacobs and Cooperman for this scholarly yet gripping study of a long-drawn-out, multi-front effort, both private and governmental, to promote democracy and root out corruption within the Teamsters Union. They not only tell an exciting story about a colorful cast of characters—good and bad and in-between. They also ask all the hard questions: Do rank-and-file members really care about union democracy? Does the most effective reform come from the inside or the outside? And, ultimately, what is the role of a labor organization like the Teamsters in our postindustrial society?” -Theodore J. St. Antoine,Degan Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Michigan

"[A] meticulous study...richly detailed."-A.B. Cochran,CHOICE

Library Journal
In 1988, U.S. attorney Rudolph Giuliani initiated the RICO prosecution in United States v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters with a complaint detailing the "compelling story of systemic union corruption and organized-crime racketeering over several decades." Jacobs (Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and director, Ctr. for Research in Crime and Justice, New York Univ.; Mobsters, Unions, and Feds) and Cooperman (former fellow, Ctr. for Research in Crime and Justice) provide a historical analysis of the case—outlining the close relationship between the Mafia and Teamsters leaders and how the Teamsters, then the nation's most powerful union, pushed back through political means. Chapters describe and analyze, e.g., government strategy, key participants, settlement terms, developments under various Teamster leaders, and reflections on the case. VERDICT While there are many books about the Teamsters, this is the definitive legal and political account of this piece of their history and makes for detail-heavy but worthwhile reading. Highly recommended for scholars, lawyers, and college students with a strong interest in labor and/or organized crime history.—Mary Jane Brustman, SUNY at Albany Libs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814743089
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"The definitive legal and political account of this piece of [Teamsters] history." -Library Journal,

"This book should be of interest to all those interested in racketeering law, organized crime, and the role of the government in addressing entrenched organized crime and corruption in private organizations."-Jay Albanese,Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review

"[A] meticulous study...richly detailed."-A.B. Cochran,CHOICE

“It has long been clear that criminal prosecutions alone cannot remedy systemic organizational corruption. Criminologists, policymakers, prosecutors, and investigators will find much of interest in this well-written and important analysis of the government's use of the civil provisions of the RICO statute to purge organized crime's influence from the Teamsters Union. This invaluable case study demonstrates the advantages and pitfalls in using civil RICO to implement large-scale organizational reform.”-Ronald Goldstock,Commissioner, NYS Waterfront Commission, and former Director, NYS Organized Crime Task Force

“I salute Jacobs and Cooperman for this scholarly yet gripping study of a long-drawn-out, multi-front effort, both private and governmental, to promote democracy and root out corruption within the Teamsters Union. They not only tell an exciting story about a colorful cast of characters—good and bad and in-between. They also ask all the hard questions: Do rank-and-file members really care about union democracy? Does the most effective reform come from the inside or the outside? And, ultimately, what is the role of a labor organization like the Teamsters in our postindustrial society?” -Theodore J. St. Antoine,Degan Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Michigan

Meet the Author

James B. Jacobs, legal scholar and sociologist, is Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice, NYU School of Law. Among his books are Mobsters, Unions & Fed: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement, Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime, Busting the Mob: United States v. Cosa Nostra, and Corruption and Racketeering in the New York City Construction Industry, all published by NYU Press.

Kerry T. Cooperman is an attorney in the litigation department of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and a former fellow in the Center for Research in Crime and Justice, NYU School of Law.

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