Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement

Synopsis

"Jacobs offers a history of the federal government's efforts to curb labor racketeering. The heart of his text focuses on the results achieved by employing Civil RICO suits to weed out organized crime from unions long mired in corruption. The Justice Department has mounted twenty such efforts since 1982, and Jacobs's book is the first to provide a comprehensive assessment of this controversial tactic. He tackles this ambitious project with a combination of detailed research, clear writing, and judicious consideration, all of which have been a hallmark of his previous texts on corruption and organized crime. The result is a must read book for anyone interested in the problem of union corruption and what to do about it." - Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"Jacobs, legal scholar and expert on the Mafia, sets out to show how the Mob has distorted American labor history, explaining the relationship between organized crime and organized labor, as well as recent federal efforts to clean up unions" - Booklist "James Jacobs, a New York University law professor and author of Mobsters, Unions and Feds, says Mafiosi were hired by union organizers in the early twentieth century to combat company toughs. Now, he says, they specialize in 'selling the rights of workers.' " - USA Today "Jacobs further burnishes his reputation for advancing the study of organized crime in America with his latest work of scholarship, billed by the publisher as 'the only book to investigate how the mob has distorted American labor history.' This worthy successor to Gotham Unboundand Busting the Mobis an exhaustive, albeit sometimes repetitive, survey of the grip La Cosa Nostra has exerted on the country's most powerful unions. While many will be familiar with the broad outlines of the corruption that riddled the Teamsters, which is recounted by the author, his summary of some lesser-known examples of pervasive labor corruption help illustrate his thesis that the entire American union movement has suffered from the intimidation and fear the mob used to gain and maintain control of unions. Especially valuable is Jacobs's examination of the relatively recent use of the RICO law to bring dirty unions under the control of a federally appointed independent trustee, and the book's posing of hard questions about the mixed success those monitorships have had." - Publishers Weekly

"Jacobs has covered a wide range of legal issues, including such hot-button topics as hate crime laws and gun control, but he always returns to the world of mobsters and the men and women who investigate, prosecute, and sentence them." - NYU Today

"James Jacobs brilliantly documents and analyzes a remarkable and untold chapter in the history of American law enforcement. This groundbreaking book should be a starting point for officials around the world who confront powerful organized crime groups." - Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York and former Director, National Institute of Justice

"A pathbreaking work. For 50 years, organized crime has been the elephant in organized labor's living room, unacknowledged and unexplained. Jacobs has critically analyzed every facet of this apparently intractable problem- from its roots to the federal government's various efforts to challenge organized crime's influence. From this point forward, no one can think critically about this problem without relying on Jacobs' work." - Robert Luskin, General Executive Board Attorney, Lab