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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Role of organised crime in Italy unmasked, 22 May 2013
This review is from: Mafia Republic: Italy's Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, 'ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present (Hardcover)
This is an important book which sheds light upon the shadowy world of organised crime in Italy, the profits of which are estimated at 7% of the country's GDP. It describes the background and development since 1946 of the three main mafias (Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra in Campania and the 'ndrangheta in Calabria) and how they went on to affect the rest of Italy. It is a tortuous and complex subject which is presented outstandingly well, in clear, concise terms. Much of it reads like a thriller, as the stories unfold of a whole range of villainous characters and their heroic opponents, the antimafia judges and policemen. But it is only too real.

The book goes beyond being a history of crime when it analyses the "grey zone" between the mafia and legitimate society. This is the crux of the mafia problem; the inter-weaving of criminal, political and business interests.
The problem is not only the military wing of the mafia but the much larger white collar element. By penetrating the country's institutions the mafia influences much of public life to the detriment of the economy and democracy. It is a cancer that needs fighting with determination and consistency. Fortunately, the good news is that a small number of dedicated magistrates, policemen and politicians are making considerable progress. But to much of Italy, including in Rome, the concept of fighting the "grey zone" remains unpopular.

Professor Dickie has done a great job in putting all this together. The result is required reading on modern Italy: highly recommended.
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