Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States

Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States

Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States

Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States

Synopsis

Internationally known authorities in criminal justice provide one of the most comprehensive assessments today of the diverse ethnic and racial groups in the criminal underworld and their grave threats to the very fabric of American society. This coherent overview describes Mafia, Chinese, African American, Russian, and other criminal activities in different cities currently with historical background, showing the pernicious effects that their illicit operations have had on the economic, social, political, and moral life of the nation. This one-volume reference also assesses law enforcement and crime control programs during the 20th century. This sobering overview should be required reading for specialist and general audiences alike and for broad library use given the serious threats of organized crime to all Americans in the 1990s.

Excerpt

Robert Redfield, the eminent American anthropologist, once remarked that the surest sign of the emergence of a new subdiscipline in science was analogous to what he had found to be characteristic of the establishment of small folk societies: a social structure organized by a kinship system made up of clans which shared a common folklore and mythology about the origins and values of the group. This timely and comprehensive volume of essays, demonstrates that by Redfield's definition, the study of organized crime has established itself at last as a coherent subdiscipline, if not yet as a functional community, of research interest.

When in the 1950s organized crime burst anew into the popular culture, questions of its character, structure, and dimensions were the exclusive province of government law-enforcement officials, some journalists, and a very few scholars such as Daniel Bell and Donald Cressey. This volume demonstrates how far we have come since then. Not only criminologists, but sociologists, anthropologists, historians, economists, political scientists, and legal scholars along with journalists and jurists have joined with criminal justice professionals to define, describe, analyze and recommend solutions to what is clearly a world-wide rather than peculiarly American social phenomenon. But despite decades of research, investigation, and any number of books and films--both documentary and dramatic--the study of organized crime remains a morass of conflicting claims and often spurious assertions held together more by controversy than by any consensus.

Within the loosely knit social structure of students and pundits of organized crime, we established a kinship system dividing ourselves into a number of . . .

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