Eminent Gangsters: Immigrants and the Birth of Organized Crime in America

When I first saw this book, I thought it looked like an interesting read. I don’t know much about the mafia gangs or where they came from. I just know that I have found them interesting and wanted to learn more about them. Mr. Fentress does not just tell readers what they may already know about the mafia gangs but really digs deep beyond the gangs and arms readers with the birth of the mafia gangs. I thought Mr. Fentress did a very good job of detailing how the gangs were formed. He started out with explaining that they were just immigrants who were looking to come to America for a better life.

A complaint I have with this book is that while I found the references that Mr. Fentress would refer to as sources at different points in this book, my preference is that I would have liked the foot notes or references to be inserted at the bottom of the pages versus at the back of the book. I just know in the past when I have read some books with foot notes that it is much easier to correspond the foot note when it is on the same page. Of course this does not take anything away from the book, it is just my preference.

I learned more than I ever thought I would about the birth of the mafia gangs by reading this book and I thought this book was well organized. For anyone who would like to learn more about the mafia gangs than check this book out. Eminent Gangsters: Immigrants and the Birth of Organized Crime in America would also make a nice gift for someone.

Check out this television interview with Mr. Fentress


Richard said…
Sicilians did not "invent" organized crime in America. It was here long before they came and it was made of of many different ethnic and racial groups. Today the largest and most dangerous is that made up of Hispanics and Asians. Another factor that WASP's and other non-Italian writers always deliberately negate is that when the Southern Italian and Sicilian immigrants first started to appear in this country, they where where considered non-white. The great debate of 1910 in the US Congress was whether Sicilians and other Southern Italians where white or non-white. Racism and racial hatred against Sicilian and Southern Italian Americans was and still is problematic in this country. Books like these are just veiled racial attacks against people that most whites in this country still hate as some sort of light skinned "niggers".
Cheryl said…
Thank you for this clarification Richard. It sounds like you are well versed in this subject matter. I will correct this fact in my review.

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