The First Family
Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder and the Birth of the American Mafia
By Mike Dash
(Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780345523570, 474pp.)
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
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Before the notorious Five Families dominated U.S. organized crime, there was the one-fingered criminal genius Giuseppe Morello and his lethal coterie. Combining first-rate scholarship and pulse-quickening action, Mike Dash brings to life this little-known story, following the rise of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the villages of Sicily to the streets of Little Italy. Using an array of primary sources—hitherto untapped Secret Service archives, prison records, and interviews with surviving family members—Dash has written a groundbreaking account of the crucial period when the criminal underworld exploded with fury across the nation.