Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime

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9780814742464: Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime

Cosa Nostra. Organized crime. The Mob. Call it what you like, no other crime group has infiltrated labor unions and manipulated legitimate industries like Italian organized crime families. One cannot understand the history and political economy of New York City-or most other major American cities-in the 20th century without focusing on the role of organized crime in the urban power structure.

Gotham Unbound demonstrates the remarkable range of Cosa Nostra's activities and influence and convincingly argues that 20th century organized crime has been no minor annoyance at the periphery of society but a major force in the core economy, acting as a power broker, even as an alternative government in many sectors of the urban economy.

James B. Jacobs presents the first comprehensive account of the ways in which the Cosa Nostra infiltrated key sectors of New York City's legitimate economic life and how this came over the years to be accepted as inevitable, in some cases even beneficial. The first half of Gotham Unbound is devoted to the ways organized crime became entrenched in six economic sectors and institutions of the city-the garment district, Fulton Fish Market, freight at JFK airport, construction, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and the waste-hauling industry. The second half compellingly documents the campaign to purge the mob from unions, industries, and economic sectors, focusing on the unrelenting law enforcement efforts and the central role of Rudolph Giuliani's mayoral administration in devising innovative regulatory strategies to combat the mob.

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About the Author:

James B. Jacobs, legal scholar and sociologist, is Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice, NYU School of Law. Among his books are Mobsters, Unions & Fed: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement, Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime, Busting the Mob: United States v. Cosa Nostra, and Corruption and Racketeering in the New York City Construction Industry, all published by NYU Press.



Coleen Friel, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Robert Raddick, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City.



Robert Raddick, former Glass Fellow in Crime & Justice at NYU School of Law, is currently in private law practice in Washington D.C. and New York City.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A terse, dramatic volume that provides a definitive overview of how Cosa Nostra obtained a stranglehold on the infrastructure of New York City and held it for much of this century. Jacobs (Law/New York Univ.; Busting the Mob, not reviewed) and his co-authors (both lawyers in private practice) expose the Mobs tactics in a clearly organized narrative. Six sections in Part I delineate the mobbing up of NYC (as the Mafia gained control of the Fulton Fish Market, JFK Airport, waste hauling, construction, the garment district, etc.); Part II contains corresponding chapters detailing how the forces of order managed to liberate the city. All chapters are loaded with a plethora of specific information regarding the shadowy mobsters of the Five Families, their internecine ties, and the cartels and front businesses they assembled at the expense of competitors. This attention to details, gleaned from both mainstream and highly obscure sources, is prodigious and makes a forceful, persuasive case for the authors contention that the core of Mob activities was, in fact, industrial racketeering. Eschewing post-Godfather stereotypes of the Mafia as a nest of lovable yet violent Goodfellas, Jacobs et al. address such arcane subjects as the Mobs decades-long stranglehold on NYC labor unions and the apparent rationalizing effect of its involvement on industry (it flourished with the tacit support of key business and political figures). Not until the 1980s did federal, state, and local law enforcement sustain success in a coordinated war on the Mob, aided by the controversial 1970 RICO statute and changes in surveillance laws. The tale concludes with the Giuliani era, in which stringent regulatory measures largely finished off the specter of industrial racketeering. Of equal interest to academics and lay enthusiasts, this serious yet highly readable book addresses Mafia reality more succinctly and clearly than any similar work in recent memory. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Cosa Nostra. Organized crime. The Mob. Call it what you like, no other crime group has infiltrated labor unions and manipulated legitimate industries like Italian organized crime families. One cannot understand the history and political economy of New York City-or most other major American cities-in the 20th century without focusing on the role of organized crime in the urban power structure. Gotham Unbound demonstrates the remarkable range of Cosa Nostra s activities and influence and convincingly argues that 20th century organized crime has been no minor annoyance at the periphery of society but a major force in the core economy, acting as a power broker, even as an alternative government in many sectors of the urban economy.James B. Jacobs presents the first comprehensive account of the ways in which the Cosa Nostra infiltrated key sectors of New York City s legitimate economic life and how this came over the years to be accepted as inevitable, in some cases even beneficial. The first half of Gotham Unbound is devoted to the ways organized crime became entrenched in six economic sectors and institutions of the city-the garment district, Fulton Fish Market, freight at JFK airport, construction, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and the waste-hauling industry. The second half compellingly documents the campaign to purge the mob from unions, industries, and economic sectors, focusing on the unrelenting law enforcement efforts and the central role of Rudolph Giuliani s mayoral administration in devising innovative regulatory strategies to combat the mob. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780814742464

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Cosa Nostra. Organized crime. The Mob. Call it what you like, no other crime group has infiltrated labor unions and manipulated legitimate industries like Italian organized crime families. One cannot understand the history and political economy of New York City-or most other major American cities-in the 20th century without focusing on the role of organized crime in the urban power structure. Gotham Unbound demonstrates the remarkable range of Cosa Nostra s activities and influence and convincingly argues that 20th century organized crime has been no minor annoyance at the periphery of society but a major force in the core economy, acting as a power broker, even as an alternative government in many sectors of the urban economy.James B. Jacobs presents the first comprehensive account of the ways in which the Cosa Nostra infiltrated key sectors of New York City s legitimate economic life and how this came over the years to be accepted as inevitable, in some cases even beneficial. The first half of Gotham Unbound is devoted to the ways organized crime became entrenched in six economic sectors and institutions of the city-the garment district, Fulton Fish Market, freight at JFK airport, construction, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and the waste-hauling industry. The second half compellingly documents the campaign to purge the mob from unions, industries, and economic sectors, focusing on the unrelenting law enforcement efforts and the central role of Rudolph Giuliani s mayoral administration in devising innovative regulatory strategies to combat the mob. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780814742464

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