Gotham Unbound by James B. Jacobs
How New York City Was Liberated from the Grip of Organized Crime

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Synopsis

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.

 

About James B. Jacobs

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James B. Jacobs is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University.
 
Published August 1, 1999 by NYU Press. 328 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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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...

Sep 07 1999 | Read Full Review of Gotham Unbound: How New York ...

Kirkus Reviews

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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 ...

| Read Full Review of Gotham Unbound: How New York ...

Publishers Weekly

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But despite the fact that the Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, maintains a vital place in the domain of popular culture, Jacobs, a law professor and director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University, argues that comprehensive law enforcement measures in the last two decades ha...

| Read Full Review of Gotham Unbound: How New York ...

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