Men of Respect: A Social History of the Sicilian Mafia by Raimondo Catanzaro, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Men of Respect: A Social History of the Sicilian Mafia

Men of Respect: A Social History of the Sicilian Mafia

by Raimondo Catanzaro

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Italian sociologist Catanzaro traces the origin and evolution of the Sicilian Mafia from the 1860s to the present day. His myth-breaking account shows that the Mafia codes of ``honor'' and ``instrumental friendship'' emerged as responses to a specific historical context. Mafiosi saw themselves as private agents of public protection. Catanzaro illustrates, with considerable clarity, that ``organization'' not only defined the Mafia, but also enabled it to change as circumstances required. From just after 1860, when Mafia violence was not the only resistance to the new Italian state, the Mafia has always been deeply involved in political life, as well as the social business of community life. Catanzaro ably covers the many official attempts at Mafia repression, from the Fascists in the 1930s to the Italian Parliament's Anti-Mafia Commission in the 1970s. (July)
Library Journal
Written by an Italian professor, this is an insightful sociological analysis of the special cultural, economic, and political features of Sicilian life that produced the Mafia. Initially, the nascent Mafia served the landowning ruling class by mediating its relations with the peasants. Latent during the Fascist period, the Mafia successfully manipulated the governing Christian Democratic Party after World War II. Expanding into drugs and urban ventures, the Sicilian Mafia is more powerful and deep-rooted than its American cousin. No less violent (it is credited with 150 murders in 1982), it does not balk at killing public figures as well as its own members. Heavily weighted toward the theoretical, this book is recommended for research collections. Lay readers or those interested in the Sicily-U.S. Mafia connection would likely prefer Claire Sterling's Octopus ( LJ 1/90).-- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis

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