A Man of Honor
by Joe Bonanno – it's a self serving autobiography, but its fun reading to see his side of the story.
By SCBlack Book and the Mob (The)
by Ronald A. Farrell and Carole Case. Definitive history of gambling in Nevada and how the Mob came to dominate it. Makes "Casino" read like a dime novel.
By TurnbullBloedsporen: een Reis naar de Mafia (Bloodtracks: a Journey to the Mafia)
by Danny Ilegems and Raf Sauviller
This book was written by two Belgian writers, it's in Dutch, I tried to find English translations but couldn't find them.
It deals with Silvio Berlusconi and his Forza Italia (the book was published in '95 so not exactly up to date), the very beginning of the mafia, the 60s and 70s in which Milan would to become Italy's biggest Northern-Italian mafianest, the late 70s and the 80s of Toto Riina and heroin, uptil 1995. Also, the immigration of the Sicilians in the 50s and 60s in the BENELUX who came to recognise that Holland and Belgium are walhalla for criminals.
Very interesting for Dutch and Belgian people who are fairly new to the subject of organised crime (This is only my second book), but not particularly interesting for those who have read more about it.
By Michael Corleone 14.The Boardwalk Jungle
by Demaris - a little long in some spots, but some good insight into the Mob in Atlantic City.
By SCBound by Honor: A Mafioso's Story
By Bill Bonanno. As with most books written by former mobsters, this book is a bit self-serving. But, it is an interesting read, especially the parts about how the mob got Kennedy elected, and then how and why they took him out.
By RockyBoss of Bosses
by Joseph F. O'Brien and Andris Kurins. Life and downfall of Paul Castellano, told by the FBI guys who wiretapped his mansion. Pretty good.
, by John Kobler - a factual, easy-to-read life story of Big Al.
by Laurence Bergreen. Most recent bio of Snorky has many interesting updates and theories. Kobler's book is the better read, but this is pretty good.
by Nicholas Pileggi, upon which the fim is based (with all the characters real names) and for which he also wrote the screenplay.
By PlawrenceComplete Idiot's Guide To The Mafia (The)
by Jerry Capeci.
Really good book for a starter, it just tells the basic facts, La Cosa Nostra's history, family structure, etcetera. Everything's told by “subject”, so it's not chronologicly like an encyclopedia. Can at times get a little boring, there's a lot of dates, events and info that you have to absorb, but still a really good book for starters. By Michael Corleone 14.
Comrade Criminal by Stephen Handelman details life in modern (published in 1993, so modern minus about twelve years) Russia after to collapse of the Soviet Union. It tells how the different gangs came from, how they've evolved, and what kind of scams they run. It also deals a lot with political corruption but, because it's in Russia and it's twelve years old, those parts aren't really all that interesting.
Overall Comrade Criminal is a pretty good bood, I'd give it a B-.
By Cancerkitty.Donnie Brasco: My Undercover life in the Mafia
by Joe Pistone. If you like your true crime or more specifically Mafia books you're more than likely to enjoy this. Amazingly, Joe Pistone under the alias of Donnie Brasco infiltrated the Bonanno Family in New York posing as a jewel thief for 6 years. Pistone is a hero for the work he has done, his case alone sent away many mobsters to prison and his testimony in later cases such as the Commission case helped in sending some of the top echelon members of the New York Mafia. Some even suffered a fate worse than prison. Sonny 'Black' Napolitano, a Capo, was whacked based on the relationship he had with Donnie because he treated him as a made guy.
From start to finish the book is gripping, much better than the film which is rather inaccurate. But hey, that's Hollywood. From the Colombo's to the Bonanno's to the Wiseguy bosses in Florida and Milwakuee, Pistone gives his account of his undercover life. Not to be missed.
By TuriFor The Sins Of My Father
(2002) by Albert DeMeo, son of Roy DeMeo, a notorious hitman in the Gambino family in the 1960s.
By PlawrenceFrank Costello: Prime Minister of the Underworld
by George Wolf - some good insights.
By SCGOTTI: Rise And Fall
(1996) by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustaine. This book is a pretty good read I'm on page 164. It has all the info on Gotti from when he first started out in the mob as a truck highjacker up to the case that put him in prison and all the stuff inbetween based on facts, recorded conversations and personal interviews with Gotti. By scarfacetm.Honor thy Father
by Gay Talese. Intimate account of the relationship between Joe Bonanno and his son Salvatore (Bill). Not a Mafia book per se, but a uniquely close perspective on this father/son relationship.
By TurnbullKing of the Mountain: Life and Death of Giuliano the Bandit.
(1988) by Billy J Chandler. Readers of the Sicilian will recall Salvatore Guiliano immortalised by Mario Puzo
in the fictional novel based on the real life bandit's life. King of the Mountain does a great job of commentating on the bandit's life and the struggle he led to fight the Mafia, award Sicily with independence and even contemplated annexing the Mediterranean island to America. It's the most unbiased account of his life available, whilst he was the Sicilian Robin Hood to some people he was also a terrorist in the eyes of others. The massacre at the Portella Della Ginestre is given exceptional importance in documenting Giuliano and leaves the reader to decide what happened. Overall an outstanding book on an outstanding person. Che Guevara still captures the hearts of many today – why shouldn't Giuliano.So die all who betray Giuliano
By TuriThe Last Gangster
(2004) by George Anastasia, the story of Ron Previte and the recent demise of the Philadelphia mob.
By PlawrenceThe Last Testament of Lucky Luciano
by Gosch Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer - informative, fact filled.
By SC Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life
by Robert Lacey - THE book to read about Lansky.
By SCMade Men: The True Rise and Fall of a New Jersey Mob Family
By Greg B Smith
On it's own it's just non fictional account of the New Jersey Mafia and most of it is based around one of the latest mob informers of that region, associate Ralphie Gaurino. This alone makes it a decent read for the avid Mafia enthusiast. Though it is not too exciting. What did higher my rating of the book were the relevant Sopranos name-dropping and similarities to the real New Jersey wiseguys. It's quite interesting realising that actual plot lines and characters from the Sopranos were stolen from current Mafia members from NJ. Not many shows would be audacious enough to that.
Overall, it's a good book worth reading, like I said, for the avid Mafia fan and made better if you're a fan of the Sopranos. Don't expect anything too exciting or a 'can't put down book'.
By Turi.Mafia: The First 100 Years
- Balsamo & Carpozi
Not a recommended book for a newcomer, due to it reading much like a novel for the first half, and not like non-fiction should do, for me. It gives an overall view of how the heads of the families work, without really giving any info on the specifics. Perhaps starting out on somebody in particular is a better way to go about it, and then broaden out to find other things about it. But if you're a newcomer to the subject, this is not recommended.
By Capo De La Cosa NostraMafia U.S.A.
by Nicholas Gage - somewhat outdated now, but some good general stuff here.
By SCMob Star: Story of John Gotti.
by Gene Mustain, Jerry Capeci. This is probably the best Gotti book available which isn't saying much when the main rival is by the same authors. It's a fairly decent book with plenty of information on Gotti and his crew but a lot of it is questionable.
The main problem with the book is that it's outdated. First printed in 1988 before the Gotti saga had ended or at least semi ended when the once named Teflon Don for his ability to avoid conviction finally was put away. This "updated" version is only updated with a few extra chapters at the end and they very much feel like they've been rushed and just slapped on. Probably because John Gotti had recently died at the time and the authors wanted to cash in on it.
This book could have been a lot better if instead of sticking a few extra chapters at the end, the whole book was reworked. Because up to chapter 28 it is still based on information from 1988. You read it and you think they could have at least updated it with all the information provided now.
By TuriMob: Stories of Death and Betrayal from Organized Crime
by Clint Willis
This is a great compilation of stories taken from the Mafia's greatest books, both fiction and non fiction. This book is great for beginners because it gives you pretty much a manual to the Mafia in novel form and written by some of the Mafia's greatest writers. It is also just genuinely enjoyable considering that, among books like Underboss, by Peter Maas and The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
, there were also stories from other books that I had never even heard of like Defending the Mafia, by Frederic Dannen and The Don is Done, by Jeffery Goldberg. Together this a genuinely good book great for beginners and experts.
By MoscarelliMurder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness and the Mafia.
By Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain. It's an average book at best. The lead character we follow is Dominick Montiglio, nephew to the Gambino Capo, Anthony Gaggi, loyal to the Castellano side of the Family. Montiglio tells his story, seeking pity and then ultimately his decision to rat and plays the victim. He's a very boring guy and most of the book is tiresome to get through.
There's plenty of good books on the Mafia I'd choose before reading this.
By TuriMy Life in the Mafia
by Vincent Teresa. Absorbing account of day-to-day life in the New England Mob. Very good details of fascinating scams. Many interesting asides on other Mob families.
By TurnbullOutfit (The)
by Gus Russo
This is a very informative book, about 400 pages, I believe, of the Chicago Outfit history. This is pretty much everything you need to know about the outfit and its stretch to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Washington. And of course, its untimely fall, head first into the ground. It is a story of a rebel among rebels, one of the most powerful criminal organizations and widely outcast by most of the underworld. The Outfit is your manual to the Chicago Underworld.
By Don GencoPlayboy's Illustrated History of Organized Crime
by Hammer - a truly wonderful general book (the stories are overly simple, but the pics and drawings are superb).
By SCRed Mafiya
by Robert I. Friedman deals with Russian organized crime in the Non-Russian world, mostly in the United States. I liked this one a lot better than Comrade Criminal because it focused more on the United States. The book profiles several different Russian gangsters and goes into detail on their different crimes. It's a pretty scary subject considering the nuclear situation.
I'd give this on a B+.
By CancerkittyUnless you have major interest in Atlantic City, stay away from this one. Not only is it long in some spots, it can also be extremely boring.
By PlawrenceRise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America (The)
by Albert Fried. Well researched account of Jewish gangsters, who were often bigger than Italian gangsters.
By TurnbullUnderboss: Sammy the Bull.
By Peter Maas. For the avid Mafia reader this is a must. Sammy does blow his own trumpet a bit, but rightly so. He was a Wiseguy held with a lot of respect and power. Peter Maas does a great job keeping it balanced and fair throughout with his commentary. But most of it is written straight from Gravano's mouth and that's why it's so good to read.
Some points are controversial. Like in Boss of Bosses, the book on Castellano that was written by the FBI going after him, they claim to have implanted the bug in his Todt Hill mansion by a covert break in operation. In Underboss, the Bull refutes this. I guess it's up to us to decide what really happened.
Sadly the book only covers upto the Bull going into witness protection and then a slight update of him leaving it. But haters of him will be pleased to know Gravano, is now back in jail on drugs charges. He's unlikely to see freedom again. He ruined the fresh opportunity open to him to begin a new life. With the extraordinary deal the government gave him for his ratting, maybe this latest chapter on Sammy's life is well deserved.
By TuriValachi Papers.
By Peter Maas. Usually whilst reading accounts of Wiseguys straight from their own mouths can be perturbing, you want to believe what they say is true, but their whole life revolves around scheming, lying, cheating and the whole "respect' thing etc. So you usually take what's said with a pinch of salt, conversations and events may not have gone like the Wiesguy wants you to believe. The Valachi Papers is different. For Joe Valachi has an amazing recall and sharpness of memory as both Maas and law enforcement officials will attest to. Everything is confirmed and it leaves you with piece of mind and even a little trust for Valachi.
It's an excellent book into the "rats' life, from his earliest burglary days, through the Castellamarese War, Vito Genovese ascension to power and finally the brutal act in prison in which he bludgeoned an innocent man whom he mistook for another inmate, a Mafia hitman was actually out to kill him because they wrongly believed he was an informer.
In the confinement of prison where their was no escape, he had two options, die by the hands of the Mafia and be forever branded a rat in his death, or actually become a rat and live. The rest is history.
By TuriWay of the Wiseguy The
by Joe Pistone. Flyweight addition to "Donnie Brasco" is still a quick and lively read.
By Nicholas Pileggi, is the book that paved the way for the hit movie 'Goodfellas' to be made. We listen to the story of gangster Henry Hill as he tells us of his glorious days in the Mafia starting with when he was a kid in the 50's to when he became a major player in the 70's. The book shows you the rise and fall of a real gangster.