The Secret Rulers: Criminal Syndicates and How They Control the U.S. Underworld

The Secret Rulers: Criminal Syndicates and How They Control the U.S. Underworld

The Secret Rulers: Criminal Syndicates and How They Control the U.S. Underworld

The Secret Rulers: Criminal Syndicates and How They Control the U.S. Underworld

Excerpt

He was a squat plug-ugly dressed like a Dapper Dan. He had features that looked as if they had been pushed in and then hacked out of New Hampshire's Great Stone Face. The nose was spatulate, with harsh downward creases framing a broad mouth and a pugnacious jaw. He stood five feet five and a half, and at 190 pounds he had a figure like a barrel, encased in a suit of charcoal gray set off by a white shirt and a light, figured summer tie. He was Joseph Valachi, about to emit the squeal heard round the under- world and dressed for stardom. His forum was the McClellan committee of the U.S. Senate, and the story he was about to tell was an insider's, worm's-eye view of the secret rulers and the invisible empire that dominate vast areas of American life.

"The underworld runs the world only the people don't know it," one of New York's most famous detectives--a man who had seen the Combination at work in its heyday--had observed a good fifteen years before. But the people still didn't know it--not in their hearts and souls, not in the very marrow of their bones, not in any deep- down sense of crediting and caring.

To the public, this business of the underworld seemed like a fantasy --like some bold, gaudy headline in the Daily News or the explosive play-acting in the latest cops-and-robbers television series. It some-

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