Books for Christmas 2017: Mafia Life, 2017

Books for Christmas 2017 - Arts and Humanities Research Council:

Mafia Life, Federico Varese (Profile Books, 2017)

One for the Sopranos fan in your life. Varese takes you on an expert tour of Mafiosi around the world: their customs, rituals, politics, lives, loves and foibles. Varese has strained a career-worth of hard-won academic knowledge of transnational organised crime – on Russian and Sicilian Mafias, Hong Kong Triads, Somalian pirates, and Mafia film – through a pot-still, blending it with a wide range of secondary sources to concoct a powerful hooch, equal parts reportage, data, and reflection. The result is an intoxicating narrative that tugs the reader from Hong Kong to Moscow, Salford to New Jersey, Tokyo to Sicily in search of the essence of Mafia Life. There is humour, pathos and poignancy amid stories of violence, corruption and intimidation. It begins and ends, festively, in a snowswept Russian graveyard. But it leaves you anything but cold.

Alistair Fraser is currently Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at the University of Glasgow.

"Un'analisi profonda"

Roberto Saviano, Repubblica

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