The never before told story of the great Chicago crime family called The Outfit It is a common misperception that all the true life organized crime stories have been written Yet perhaps the most compelling gangster tale is one that has been, until now, too well hidden This is the story of the Outfit the secretive organized crime cartel that began its reign in prohibition era Chicago before becoming the real puppet master of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C The Outfit recounts the adventures and exploits of its bosses, Tony Joe Batters Accardo the real Godfather , Murray The Camel or Curly Humphreys one of the greatest political fixers and union organizers this country has ever known , Paul The Waiter Ricca, and Johnny Rosselli the liaison between the shadowy world and the outside world Their invisibility was their strength, and what kept their leader from ever spending a single night in jail The Outfit bosses were the epitome of style and grace, moving effortlessly among national political figures and Hollywood studio heads until their world started to crumble in the 1970s With extensive research including recently released FBI files, the Chicago Crime files of entertainer Steve Allen, first ever access to the voluminous working papers of the Kefauver Committee, original interviews with the members of the Fourth Estate who pursued the Outfit for forty years, and exclusive access to the journals of Humphrey s widow, veteran journalist Gus Russo uncovers sixty years of corruption and influence, and examines the shadow history of the United States....
|Title||:||The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America|
|Publisher||:||Bloomsbury USA 1st edition April 24, 2002|
|Number of Pages||:||550 pages|
|File Size||:||685 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America Reviews
The best part of this book was that it encompassed a wide range of material but stayed primarily about the Chicago Outfit. Many books of this type take a broader view that winds up distorting the readers impressions of what happened in Chicago. However, I was disturbed by the organization of the material, and had trouble following when events happened. As presented the material spanned time periods and jumped between then, often with poor transitions that required me to backtrack constantly to find out when something occurred (and sometimes I could not find it at all!). I also felt that the writer was too quick to point out conclusions that may have been suggested but certainly not proven, thus passing off his opinions as fact. There were also many spelling and grammatical errors, which were surprising based on the experience of the writer. However, it one is looking for a lot of information about the Chicago Outfit, this is perhaps the most comprehensive, almost encyclopedic, source I have encountered, and it is definitely worth reading on that basis.
Russo shows how times have changed. Bombings and murders were commonplace decades ago. Today far more damage than was ever caused by the mob is caused by the banksters, oligarchs and plutocrats who use pens, emails, bribery and "campaign contributions" and who masquerade as "legitimate businessmen." Russo points out the totally blurred definitional line between legitimate and illegitimate when he shows the integration between organized "legitimate" crime and organized illegitimate crime. Citizens United has brought on the ultimate merger between legitimate and illegitimate. Russo's strength is in his portrayal of the overarching merger between the two and how in many ways they feed from the same trough.
I wanted to know more about how Chicago grew up, and this is a big part of it. Sure, the story concerns the rise of Vegas, the development of Hollywood and countless other national and international institutions. But the base was here in Chicago, and the main heirs of Al Capone were here as they schemed.
I had about three books I was reading before I opened up this one but quickly found that I could not put it down. Its pages turn as if they were spun by reels. And what I liked best, perhaps, was his introductory section on Chicago history. I am a little weak in that department and enjoyed his description of the city on pillars that gave rise to the term "underworld." If you ever were hazy about the background of the bosses in Casino you won't be after you finish the Outfit--which is actually a name that Joe Pesci uses to describe their thing at the start of the Scorsese picture. Russo's narrative makes clear the corporate nature of these particular Mafiosi which was crucial to their success. Their vision was crafted by Johnny Torrio and confirmed by Al Capone along with Joe Accardo. The sections on the fifties and sixties were the most interesting as were the roles played by LBJ and Ramsay Clark in their partial rebirth after the death of JFK. This is a book both entertaining and educational.