The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
By Gus Russo
(Bloomsbury USA, Paperback, 9781582342795, 496pp.)
Publication Date: April 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
The never-before-told story of the great Chicago crime family called The Outfit.
It is a common misperception that all the true-life organized crime stories have been written. Yet perhaps the most compelling gangster tale is one that has been, until now, too well-hidden. This is the story of the Outfit: the secretive organized crime cartel that began its reign in prohibition-era Chicago before becoming the real puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C.
The Outfit recounts the adventures and exploits of its bosses, Tony 'Joe Batters' Accardo (the real Godfather), Murray 'The Camel' or 'Curly' Humphreys (one of the greatest political fixers and union organizers this country has ever known), Paul 'The Waiter' Ricca, and Johnny Rosselli (the liaison between the shadowy world and the outside world). Their invisibility was their strength, and what kept their leader from ever spending a single night in jail. The Outfit bosses were the epitome of style and grace, moving effortlessly among national political figures and Hollywood studio heads-until their world started to crumble in the 1970s.
With extensive research including recently released FBI files, the Chicago Crime files of entertainer Steve Allen, first-ever access to the voluminous working papers of the Kefauver Committee, original interviews with the members of the Fourth Estate who pursued the Outfit for forty years, and exclusive access to the journals of Humphrey's widow, veteran journalist Gus Russo uncovers sixty years of corruption and influence, and examines the shadow history of the United States.
Gus Russo is the author of Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK. He is an investigative reporter who has worked for various major television networks, including PBS' Frontline series.
"an impressive in-depth history...illuminating...this is the book to beat in examining this mid-century criminal empire" --Publishers Weekly
"...insightful and revealing...Russo is so engagingly in command of his material...it all holds together in a seamless web" --Baltimore Sun
"Russo's amazing book gets to the heart of the Chicago Outfit. This is an authoritative and engrossing work." --Nick Pileggi, bestselling author of Casino and Wiseguys
"Absolutely captivating! For a 'Wiseguy' like me it was like going back to the neighborhood for an education." --Henry Hill, the inspiration for the film Goodfellas and the best-selling book Wiseguys
"...In-depth, dispassionate study of organized crime...Russo located most of the skeletons in this masterful probe." --Jack Clarke, Special Investigator for Chicago Mayors Kennelly through Daley, and Illinois Governors Stevenson through Kerner