The Mafia
A Guide to an American Subculture
by Nate Hendley
August 2013, 201pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0360-4
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0361-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Whatever is illegal but in great demand, the Mafia provides.

Based on original sources and research, not legends and myth, this book presents a lively, in-depth analysis of how the American Mafia epitomizes organized crime.

Whether it’s supplying illicit drugs, alcohol during Prohibition, gambling, prostitution, or even loans to those with bad credit, the Mafia has established itself as a part of the fabric of American society, politics, and economics for over a century. The Mafia continues to exist not only because of their immense power that allows their criminal organization to defy law enforcement, but because demand remains strong for what they offer. This book utilizes verifiable information about the Mafia based on newspaper and magazine accounts, police and FBI documents, court records, and the author’s own original research to offer a deeper analysis of “the Mob” that provides historical, social, economic and cultural context. Fascinating biographical sketches that profile well-known Mafiosi such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano and John Gotti are also presented.


  • Includes historical, social, economic, and cultural context that further clarifies the significance of the Mafia's operations and makes for more engaging reading
  • Focuses on verifiable information about the Mafia while avoiding hearsay and speculation, such as the widely discussed theories regarding possible Mafia involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy
  • Provides a comprehensive bibliography of materials used for the book's research, including police reports, court documents, FBI files, television and radio broadcasts, and online information
Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and author who has written a series of books, primarily on crime-related topics. His published works include ABC-CLIO's American Gangsters Then and Now: An Encyclopedia; Greenwood's Bonnie and Clyde: A Biography; and Crystal Death: North America's Most Dangerous Drug. His website is


"This volume is well-researched and eminently readable."—Booklist, December 15, 2013

"Entertaining and informative."—ARBA, November 1, 2013
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