The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Mafia, 2nd Edition / Edition 2

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You never go against the family.

Here is the most comprehensive introduction to and explanation of the most infamous crime organization in history. Completely updated with more than 70 pages of new material and photographs, it includes information about the shifts in power and tightening of ranks of different families after convictions of their key members; new inside information on the role of the families in Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Rochester, and even Montreal; and updates on the DeCavalcante family who bragged they were the real Sopranos on FBI wiretaps.

• More than 70 pages of new material
• Full of dramatic anecdotes and photos about everything from Capone to Gotti and beyond
• Written by acclaimed expert author and reporter of all things Mafia in his weekly online column “Gang Land” (

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592573059
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Capeci is one of America's foremost experts on organized crime. A frequent guest on television programs in the United States and Canada, Capeci has co-authored three books about the Mafia and has written scores of articles and features about organized crime for magazines and newspapers. Since 1996, Capeci has written “Gang Land,” an award-winning online column about the Mafia that evolved from a weekly column he wrote for New York Daily News from 1989 to 1995.
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Table of Contents


1. Who Are These Guys?
Which Mafia? Top Dogs. The Puppies. Real Life.

2. Making the Mafia Grade.
Who's Eligible? The Ceremony. The Rules. Salutations. The Real Rule.

3. The Mafia's Commission.
The Mafia Killing Fields. The Board of Directors. Decision-Making Time. Out of Commission.

4. Five Families Carve Up the Big Apple.
A Word About Labels. The Bonanno Family. The Colombo Family. The Gambino Family. The Genovese Family. The Luchese Family.

5. Mafia Families Poison the Northeast.
The Pittstown Family. The Buffalo Family. The Newark Family. The New England Family. The Philadelphia Family. The Pittsburgh Family. The Rochester Group.

6. From the Windy City to the City of Angels.
Gunning for Control over the Windy City. Putting Denver on the Mafia Map. Making History in Kansas City. Running Rackets in Milwaukee. Making News in the Bay Area. Getting Organized in San Jose. Meeting the Mob in St. Louis. Mickey Mousing in the City of Angels.

7. Mafia Up North, Mafia Down South.
The Cleveland Family. The Dallas Family. The Detroit Family. The New Orleans Family. The Tampa Family.


8. The Mob Loves Prohibition.
Making Money with Local Rackets. Why Prohibition? Where Did the Liquor Come From? The Consequences of Prohibition.

9. Gambling Makes Mobsters Smile.
Playing Numbers. Betting on Sports. Controlling the Machines. Building the Clubs. Collecting the Payoff. Bringing in the Loan Sharks.

10. Mafia Puts the Squeeze on Unions.
The Teamster Structure. Elections. The Union Money Machine. Direct Mafia Control. Labor Union Violence. Union Talk.

11. Dealing Drugs.
The Mafia Drug Ban. The Federal Drug Laws. Closeups of Some Drug Boys.

12. La Cosa Nostra Builds Las Vegas.
The Beginning. The Loans. The Skim. The Bugs. The Strawman. The End.

13. No End to Mob Rackets.
Fraud. Gas Scams. Pornography. Meat and Potatoes.


14. Mobsters Come Out of the Closet.
Mob Chieftain Joins the Salvation Army. Mobsters Go to Washington. The Big BBQ (Apalachin, New York).

15. Mafia Starts to Feel the Heat.
Labor Pains. Attorney General RFK. Joe Valachi.

16. Falling In Love with the Mafia.
Life in the Magazines. The Godfather Romanticizes the Mafia. Goodfellas Gets It Right.

17. Lights, Camera, Action for a Mafia Star.
Enter Joe Colombo. The Italian-American Civil Rights League. The Shooting. The Aftermath.


18. Big Brother Gets Serious.
Electronic Muddle. The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (1968). Legal Electronic Surveillance in Action. The Organized Crime Control Act (1970).

19. Feds Full Court Press Against the Mafia.
Indictments Sweep the Windy City. Shakeup in the Cleveland Family. Betrayal in the New England Family. Historic Convictions in New York City. Other Convictions That Made the News.

20. Feds Pressure Union Reforms.
Dealing with the Teamster Presidency. Setting an Example with Teamster Local 560. Reforming the Laborers Union.

21. Wiseguys Start Spilling Their Guts.
The Animal Makes a Splash. Singing Sammy Takes the Spotlight. Philip Leonetti Reaps a Handsome Reward. The Highest-Ranking Singer Tells Stories from Hearsay.


22. Mafia Rivals Fight for Supremacy.
The Bad Seed. The Stakes Are High. The Plot Thickens. And the Winner Is….

23. Big Troubles for the Gambino Family.
A .38-Caliber Trim. Big Paulie Goes Bye-Bye. A Case of Mistaken Identity. Gotti Falls Prey to the Feds.

24. Mob Wars Cripple the Colombos.
Joe Who? The Gallos Roll the Dice. Getting Serious. Joe Magliocco's Turn. Carmine Persico's Turn.

25. The Joe Bananas Split.
Introducing the Bonanno Boys. Where's Big Daddy Bonanno? The Bonanno Tales. Capeci's Analysis.

26. The Canadian Mob Hits.
Rocky Goes for a Walk. The Story of Poor Albert. The Rise and Fall of Paolo Violi.


Appendix A. A Chronology of Major Events.
Appendix B. A Word About Mafia Nicknames.
Appendix C. Further Readings.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005


    This book provided plenty of information about La Cosa Nostra. Not only was it pack with stories about the mobsters, but it also explained the hierarchy of the mafia and the different ways they opperate. I highly recomend this book if you wanted to learn the mafia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

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