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on 2 April 2014
An entertaining, interesting, historical read which paints a picture of real people in your mind. It reads seamlessly as if you were there. John Dickie has done exceptional research to bring this dark history of Italy to life. Hard to put down. Worth reading.
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on 1 April 2014
An outstanding book. John Dickie's research of a difficult subject is second to none. It is written in an interesting, entertaining style. The absolute delight is that one does not have to be an academic to follow and appreciate the text. Every bit as good as his earlier book 'Cosa Nostra'
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on 25 June 2014
Another splendid engrossing book from John Dickie. He is quite simply the authority on organised crime in Italy. Mafia Republic not only deals with Cosa Nostra but with the Camorra and the 'Ndrangheta in a thorough, meticulous way. All other writers on the Mafia take note!
This book deals with organised crime mainly during the first republic - from the end of WW2 to 1990, how it grew and thrived with the connivance of the state. Excellent.
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on 5 December 2015
An insightful, sometimes angry account of the Mafia's history since the second world war. The mafia's of Naples, Sicily and Calabria are explored through notorious individuals and events. Dickie also attempts to put this into the context of Italy's political and social character to help explain how such criminal organisations could ever have become so powerful.
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on 8 June 2013
Very pleased with the book and have now a much better insight of how the mafia have infiltrated the governments and businesses around the world.
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on 15 August 2016
I found this an extremely readable and engrossing overview of the three main 'mafias' since the Second World War. The book gives you to understand how organised crime has become so entrenched in southern Italy, not least due to corruption in politics and a mind-boggling judicial process, and how over the years the criminals have manoeuvred to exploit every opportunity that's come their way - including, even, rubbish and waste disposal, as well as the more obvious drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion. A great introduction to a horrifying - and horrifyingly fascinating - world which has made me want to find out more, especially about Falcone and Borsellino and those who risked and continue to risk their lives to fight the anti-Mafia cause.
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on 10 June 2014
Closely researched and well written this book is engaging and troubling at the same time, portraying a country which is deeply damaged, and some of the historical reasons for the present state of Italy. Highly recommended
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on 30 March 2014
I have really enjoyed JD's previous two books an was waiting till I could get my hands on a paperback version.
Just arrived and just finished it. At almost 500 pages it is a bit of a slog. Gone has the pacey narrative and it is just a meander through killing after killing, after assassination after extortion. Interesting if this had not been covered in the previous books in the series, but a bit samey through out. Characters are explored, but it just seems like a series of mafia fables, albeit no doubt true. For my money it could have lost at least 200 pages and have been a much punchier read.
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on 22 May 2013
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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on 9 May 2013
I was first introduced to John Dickie's book 'Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia' a few years back, as I wanted to learn more about the roots of the Mafia. It was perfect - I couldn't put it down. It was easy to follow, yet detailed where it needed to be. And it had chills running up and down your spine, like a top crime thriller.

I then came across his second book which I was a little late to the scene with since I hadn't realised it was released. But promptly bought it when I found out about it. Again, hair raisingly good! This book explored a broader crime syndicate in Italy as well as Sicily (and is not a follow on from Cosa Nostra). It detailed accounts of the 'Ndraghetta (Calabria) and Camora (Naples) so you can expect a broader insight on each, but detailed and thoroughly researched nonetheless.

Mafia Republic is a follow on from Mafia Brotherhoods, and details the accounts of all three, post WWII (1946 to be precise; Mafia Brotherhoods discussed the beginnings of each upto 1946). I received my copy today - so have not read it, but reading the prologue and skimming through the book and looking at the images, I can tell this will be another fascinating read.

This book seems bigger than the other two. The previous two were in paperback mind you (this is available as hardback only currently - so that might be why). But the prologue details a very chilling account of victims of each syndicate. The book seems to have refocused more on the Sicilian Mafia again (but that's biased by what I saw reading the contents and looking at the pictures) but I'm looking forward to reading it nonetheless.

I'm not sure whether John Dickie will publish a fourth book on Italian Crime. I certainly hope so as his first two books on the subject have been excellent, and this one looks equally as good! But we will have to wait and see.
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