Mafia Life (Ebook)

Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime

Federico Varese

A compelling account of life inside the mafia, from a leading academic: out now in paperback

We see mafias as vast, powerful organisations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping its tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth? Travelling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes.

Mafia Life takes us into the real world of organised crime, where mafia henchmen worry about their bad managers and have high blood pressure, assassinations are bungled as often as they come off, and increasing pressure from law enforcement means that a life of crime is no longer lived in the lap of luxury.

As our world changes, so must the mafia. Globalisation, migration and technology are disrupting their traditions and threatening their revenue streams, and the mafiosi must evolve or die. Mafia Life is an intense and totally compelling look at an organisation and the daily life of its members, as it gets to grips with the modern world.

Out now in paperback.

Publication date: 29/06/2017

£6.99

ISBN: 9781782830559

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B01KAEKI48

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, History & Classics, Politics & Economics

Mafia Life (Paperback)

Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime

Federico Varese

A compelling account of life inside the mafia, from a leading academic: out now in paperback

We see mafias as vast, powerful organisations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping its tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth? Travelling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes.

Mafia Life takes us into the real world of organised crime, where mafia henchmen worry about their bad managers and have high blood pressure, assassinations are bungled as often as they come off, and increasing pressure from law enforcement means that a life of crime is no longer lived in the lap of luxury.

As our world changes, so must the mafia. Globalisation, migration and technology are disrupting their traditions and threatening their revenue streams, and the mafiosi must evolve or die. Mafia Life is an intense and totally compelling look at an organisation and the daily life of its members, as it gets to grips with the modern world.

Out now in paperback.

Publication date: 05/04/2018

£8.99

ISBN: 9781781252550

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, History & Classics, Politics & Economics

Reviews for Mafia Life

'Federico Varese, who has made organised crime a life's work, is the capo di tutti capi of mafia studies. His desire to pierce ever more deeply through the layers of violence, comradeship, greed, corruption and pathos of men, at once parasitical on societies and contemptuous of them, plunges him into their worlds to discover that, different as the mafias are, at root they are the same.'

 Financial Times

'Excellent ... each chapter shines a new light on a fundamental aspect of mafia activity.'

Misha Glenny Times Literary Supplement

'Federico Varese is two writers rolled into one: a fearless fact-hunter who goes after his quarry with the zeal of a thoroughbred journalist, and a dedicated academic who examines and analyzes his catch with relentless detachment.'

John le Carré 

'Wide-ranging ... digs deep into the culture and practices of the mafia'

 Daily Telegraph

'In this beautifully penned book, the reader has the opportunity to go beyond the fabricated mafia image usually offered to the public. Mafia Life is a landmark text exploring realms of power and looking at these contested men of our time from an anthropological point of view'

Dr Baris Cayli LSE Review of Books

'An intoxicating narrative that tugs the reader from Hong Kong to Moscow, Salford to New Jersey, Tokyo to Sicily in search of the essence of Mafia Life. There is humour, pathos and poignancy amid stories of violence, corruption and intimidation. It begins and ends, festively, in a snowswept Russian graveyard. But it leaves you anything but cold.'

Alistair Fraser, University of Glasgow 

Federico Varese

Federico Varese

Federico Varese is Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories.