Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Global Rise of Organized Crime

Constable, 2005 - 260 páginas
Everyone knows what organised crime is. Each year dozens of feature films, hundreds of books, and thousands of news stories explain to an eager public that organised crime is what gangsters do. Closely knit, ethnically distinct, and ruthlessly efficient, these mafias control the drugs trade, people trafficking and other serious crimes. If only states would take the threat seriously and recognise the global nature of modern organised crime, the FBI's success against the Italian mafia could be replicated throughout the world. The wicked trade in addictive drugs could be brought to a halt. The trouble is, as Woodiwiss demonstrates in shocking and surprising detail, what everyone knows about organised crime is pretty much completely wrong. In reality the most important figures in organised crime are employees of multinational companies, politicians and bureaucrats. Gangsters are certainly a problem, but much of their strength comes from attempts to prohibit the market for certain drugs. Even here they are minor players when compared with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that selectively enforce prohibition and profit from it. global economy provides the most mouth-watering opportunities for illegal profits. Woodiwiss shows how respectable businessmen and revered statesmen have seized these opportunities in an orgy of fraud and illegal violence that would leave the most hardened Mafioso speechless with admiration.

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Michael Woodiwiss lectures on American history at the University of the West of England. His previous books include Crimes, Crusades and Corruption: Prohibitions in the United States, 1900-1987 and Organised Crime and American Power: A History.

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