Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States: From Capone's Chicago to the New Urban Underworld

Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States: From Capone's Chicago to the New Urban Underworld

Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States: From Capone's Chicago to the New Urban Underworld

Encyclopedia of Organized Crime in the United States: From Capone's Chicago to the New Urban Underworld

Synopsis

Typically, other reference works on organized crime in the United States focus primarily on the Mafia and La Cosa Nostra, and neglect the many new ethnic and racial criminal organizations that permeate American society today. This reference fills those gaps while providing systematic detailed coverage of traditional crime families, individuals, significant events, and terms. More than 250 entries provide in-depth information on major underworld figures, from Al Capone to John Gotti and Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, and key criminal events and milestones. In addition, Kelly, an expert on organized crime, provides in-depth coverage of African American organized crime, Chinese Triads and Tongs, the Colombian drug cartels' infiltration of the U.S., Dominican drug trafficking, ecocrime, Russian organized crime, Latin gangs and criminal groups, and Vietnamese American organized crime.

Excerpt

This encyclopedia is about a special kind of crime. It is not about muggers, burglars, adolescent car thieves, or the miscellaneous violence that infests our cities. It is about crime that is organized, businesslike, "professional"--crime that is so thoroughly a part of our lives, ingrained in our institutions, and integrated into our economy and politics that we often fail to notice it or recognize its forms and face it when it appears.

Numerous government officials, law enforcement specialists, and social scientists have described organized crime as part of the American way of life. While many organized criminals themselves have national and ethnic roots in other cultures and societies, the fundamental criminal methods and ways of thought are not alien. Rather than being an alien conspiracy originating outside the United States, organized crime is indeed American--woven into the fabric of our society so thoroughly that we do not easily recognize it as special or different, immensely wealthy, or powerful. A remarkable thing about it is not that we have put up with it for so long but that we have become so used to it that we no longer regard it as something that has to be tolerated.

Organized crime has always been a subject of fascination in popular culture and a major criminal justice concern for more than a half century. Books and films about it are abundant, and many such as The Godfather novel and films have a worldwide popularity. The names of famous (or infamous) gangsters with their colorful aliases and street names are almost as well known to the public as they are to law enforcement officials. Most important, organized crime has survived changing ideas of what is illegal: As bootlegging gave way to drug trafficking and as prostitution expands into video pornography on the Internet, organized crime continues to resist suppression and eradication.

Although it takes many forms and exists in many different cultures and societies, it has certain basic features and components. First, it is organized, and whether it is like a corporation in its structure of authority and power with . . .

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