chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 13

This is far from the fi rst book covering organized crime and the ItalianAmerican Mafi a1 in New York City before the 1940s. Journalists writing long after the events depicted have had a free hand to write stories that infl ate the Mafi a peril. Under the headline “The Conglomerate of Crime,” for example, Time magazine in 1969 declared, “The biggest and most important truth is that La Cosa Nostra and the many satellite elements that constitute organized crime are big and powerful enough to affect the quality of American life.”2