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The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia | [Mike Dash]

The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

Before the Five Families who so notoriously dominated U.S. organized crime for a bloody half-century, there was the one-fingered, surpassingly cunning Giuseppe Morello and his murderous coterie of brothers. Born into a life of poverty in rural Sicily, Morello became an American nightmare, pioneering the bizarre initiation rituals, imaginative protection rackets, influential underworld reigns, and Mafia wars later popularized by countless books, television shows, and movies.
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Publisher's Summary

Before the Five Families who so notoriously dominated U.S. organized crime for a bloody half-century, there was the one-fingered, surpassingly cunning Giuseppe Morello and his murderous coterie of brothers.

Born into a life of poverty in rural Sicily, Morello became an American nightmare, pioneering the bizarre initiation rituals, imaginative protection rackets, influential underworld reigns, and Mafia wars later popularized by countless books, television shows, and movies.

In The First Family, Mike Dash tells the little known story of the Morello family. He follows the birth of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the wharves of New Orleans - where Morello himself disembarked in the United States - to the streets of Little Italy. Using previously untapped secret service archives, prison records, and interviews with surviving family members, Dash brings to life the remarkable villains and unusual heroes of the Mafia's early years, from the colorful members of the Morello family to Joseph Petrosino, an Italian cop with a thick Naples accent, and William Flynn, a dogged U.S. Secret Service agent, who banded together to bring down Morello.

More than just a pulse-quickening Mafia narrative, The First Family is the first authoritative account of a particularly crucial period in American history, in which the modern American underworld was born.

©2009 Michael Dash; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Readers may think they know the mob, but Morello's ruthless rule makes even the fictional Tony Soprano look tame." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (66 )
5 star
 (21)
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3.7 (29 )
5 star
 (12)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.5 (27 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Josh Lebanon, PA, United States 01-09-13
    Josh Lebanon, PA, United States 01-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The truth about the origins of the American mafia"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this is possibly the best researched and written book about the Mafia.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The investigation of the Morello counterfeit operation


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The murder of Joesph Petrosino


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gerald katy, TX, United States 02-22-12
    gerald katy, TX, United States 02-22-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "just shoot me in the head"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    a new story


    What was most disappointing about Mike Dash’s story?

    it is so slow you just want to go to the next chapter


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    could he read any slower


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    a total waste of money

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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