Organized Crime and American Power: A History
University of Toronto Press, 2001年1月1日 - 468 頁
Organized crime, understood in a literal sense as systematic illegal activity for money or power, is as old as the first systems of law and government and as international as trade. Piracy, banditry, kidnapping, extortion, forgery, fraud, and trading in stolen or illegal goods and services are all ancient occupations that have often involved the active participation of landowners, merchants, and government officials. Many people today, however, follow the lead of the US government and American commentators and understand organized crime as being virtually synonymous with super-criminal 'Mafia-type' organizations. These are usually seen as separate entities, distinct from legitimate society but possessing almost unlimited regional, national, and even international power. As background to this understanding of organized crime there exists a consensus among most commentators that suggests that the United States has had the most experience and success in dealing with the problem. In Organized Crime and American Power: A History, Michael Woodiwiss argues that organized criminal activity has never been a serious threat to established economic and political power structures in the United States but more often a fluid, variable, and open-ended phenomenon that has, in fact, complemented those structures.
Conventional histories of the problem tend to focus on outlaws in peripheral feudal societies, most commonly Sicily, for their antecedents. Woodiwiss by contrast finds his antecedents in the systematic criminal activity of the powerful and respectable in those ancient and early modern societies that we usually understand to be at the centre of 'civilized' development and continues to emphasize the crimes of the powerful throughout his wide ranging overview. He surveys the organization of crime in the Southern states after the American Civil War; the organized crimes of American business interests; the causes and corrupt consequences of the US campaign to prohibit alcohol and other 'vices'; the elaboration of the Mafia conspiracy interpretation of organized crime and the consequent 'dumbing of discourse' about the problem, not just nationally but internationally.
Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, as much as confrontation, between government and criminals, Woodiwiss illustrates how crime control policies based on the Mafia paradigm have not only failed to address much organized criminal behaviour, but have, in many ways, proved counterproductive and damaging to individual rights and social stability.
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Depending on their political inclination , contemporaries could have applied it to the schemes of the rich or the ... politicians , police officers , lawyers , or professional thieves in terms suggesting their crimes were organized .
Reform groups felt that the existing local political and policing structures were too corrupt to enforce anti - vice laws , and so they set about reforming the police , primarily by insulating city police forces from 8 Organized Crime ...
the police , primarily by insulating city police forces from local political machine bosses . ... that gave it a distinct meaning - gambling and prostitution operations that were protected by local politicians and public officials .
To some academics and professionals , organized crime was still virtually synonymous with local political machine corruption . To others ' organized crime ' was mostly associated with certain types of criminal activity and was virtually ...
For its successful application , it thus depended on all politicians , police , prison officers , lawyers , prosecutors , and judges being honest and efficient . This clearly has never been the case , and even the selective application ...
讀者評論 - 撰寫評論
Old World Antecedents and the Rise of American Power
Whitewash Racism Xenophobia and the Origins of Organized Crime in the United States
Organized Crime and Corporate Power 18651950
Americas Moral Crusade and the Organization of Illegal Markets 17891950
Organized Crime and the Dumbing of American Discourse 1920 to the Present
Industrial and Corporate Racketeering 1950 to the Present