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Gotham Unbound: How New York City Was Liberated From the Grip of Organized Crime - page 3 / 3





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of Names” and a “List of Indictments and Judicial Decisions” -- which will prove useful to those pursuing further research in this area. The book offers a solid, reliable account of the history of criminal activity in six industrial areas that many students will find a serviceable starting point for further study of this subject. Unfortunately, the bibliography is incomplete and lists only popular secondary source material and newspaper articles, requiring the student to exploit the notes in order to generate more specific, primary source material. In terms of style, the writing is too often uninspired and the organization of the material (proceeding from one industry to another), while logical, makes the text seem at times somewhat repetitive in its presentation.

Finally, the emphasis on Giuliani’s role in combatting organized crime, while fair from a narrowly prosecutorial perspective, unfortunately obscures the larger issues and initiatives undertaken by scores of others (lesser known) that effectuated the RICO assault on the mob in New York City. The volume makes a useful contribution to the history of organized crime and its influence in New York City and especially its subversion of the trades union movement between 1930 and 1990, but that contribution must be measured against the skewed political emphasis on the role of Giuliani in effectuating the “liberation” of New York City and its unions from the organized crime syndicates. ____________________

Louis J. Kern teaches in the History Department at Hofstra University.

REGIONAL LABOR REVIEW, vol. 3, no. 1 (Fall 2000): 36-38. © 2000 Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy, Hofstra University.


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