Everyone knows stories about the American Mafia and its varied forms of crime, from racketeering to stock manipulation to murder. American Mafia: Chicago explores the Windy City, strolling through its neighborhoods and imagining scenes from the pasttelling the stories of the men, women, and families and revealing the events behind the legends and the history of the families' beginnings and founding members. Featuring the most fascinating stories from the early days, when loosely-organized, incredibly secretive gangs terrorized neighborhoods with names like Little Hell, through the mob's headiest years, when Al Capone and his men pretty well controlled the city, American Mafia: Chicago offers tantalizing glimpses into the era when Chicago was ruled by gangs with their ever-twisting allegiances and tangled webs of relationships. Most of the buildings are gone now.But the stories are still there, if you know where to look.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
William Griffith is known to his friends as "Wild Bill," but actually lives a quiet life with his dogs in a small apartment beneath the El tracks on Lake Street - you get used to the noise after a while. His doorknob was salvaged from the rubble of the Lexington Hotel, and the apartment itself is reputed to have once been the home of a member of the Genna Brothers gang. His grandfather was a gangbuster in northern Missouri.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The title alone shows the ignorance of this book: the "mafia" is a criminal organization in Sicily, it has nothing to do with Chicago. What the pseudo-author means is "organized crime," which is as American as Apple Pie and, historically, has been comprised of every single ethnic group from Anglos to Russians. The difference is that people like Mr. Griffith focus ONLY on criminals with Italian surnames. He, and others, merely shine a flashlight, not a spotlight. Furthermore, as someone who grew up in the very neighborhood which he casually alludes to as being mob-infested, I take personal offense---both as a former child of those streets (who is now a teacher) and as a free-lance journalist and writer within the local and national Italian American communities (who helped co-produce a 2007 PBS special on WTTW called, "And They Came to Chicago: The Italian American Legacy"). The true narrative of Italians in Chicago is inspiring. Mr. Griffith could just as easily have walked the streets of Chicago's Chinatown and heard similar stories about the gangsters and drug dealers who operated there (and still do). But, he didn't. That is because he isn't a true researcher, merely a prejudice peddler. Anyone who buys this book is simply feeding a literary drug habit..and yes, this makes Griffith and others common suppliers.