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The first family : terror, extortion, revenge, murder, and the birth of the American mafia

Author: Mike Dash
Publisher: New York : Random House, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Before the notorious Five Families who dominated US organized crime for a bloody half century, there was the one-fingered criminal genius Giuseppe Morello -- known as "The Clutch Hand"--And his lethal coterie of associates. In The First Family, historian, journalist, and New York Times best-selling author Mike Dash brings to life this little-known story, following the rise of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to
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Genre/Form: Biography
Case studies
History
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mike Dash
ISBN: 9781400067220 1400067227
OCLC Number: 276339305
Description: xxx, 375 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations, maps, genealogical table, portraits ; 25 cm
Contents: The barrel mystery --
Men of respect --
Little Italy --
"The most secret and terrible organization in the world" --
The clutch hand --
Vengeance --
Family business --
Green goods --
"See the fine parsley" --
Sheep and wolves --
Mob --
Artichoke kings --
The eighteenth amendment.
Responsibility: Mike Dash.

Abstract:

Before the notorious Five Families who dominated US organized crime for a bloody half century, there was the one-fingered criminal genius Giuseppe Morello -- known as "The Clutch Hand"--And his lethal coterie of associates. In The First Family, historian, journalist, and New York Times best-selling author Mike Dash brings to life this little-known story, following the rise of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the lawless villages of Sicily to the streets of Little Italy. Using an impressive array of primary sources -- hitherto untapped Secret Service archives, prison records, trial transcripts, and interviews with surviving family members -- this is the first Mafia history that applies scholarly rigor to the story of the Morello syndicate and the birth of organized crime on these shores. Progressing from small-time scams to counterfeiting rings to even bigger criminal enterprises, Giuseppe Morello exerted ruthless control of Italian neighborhoods in New York, and through adroit coordination with other Sicilian crime families, his Clutch Hand soon reached far beyond the Hudson River. The men who battled Morello's crews were themselves colorful and legendary figures, including William Flynn, a fearless Secret Service agent, and Lieutenant detective Giuseppe "Joe" Petrosino of the New York Police Department's elite Italian Squad, whose pursuit of the brutal gangs ultimately cost him his life. Combining first-rate scholarship and pulse-quickening action, and set amid rustic Sicilian landscapes and the streets of old New York, The First Family is a groundbreaking account of the crucial period when the American criminal underworld exploded with violent fury across the nation. - Jacket flap.

Using previously untapped Secret Service archives, prison records, and interviews with surviving family members, Dash presents the gripping story of the birth of the Italian Mafia in America, and brings to life the remarkable villains and unusual heroes of the Mafia's early years.

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