Five Families Book Summary – October 2022

Author: Selwyn Raab

Short Summary
Five Families (2005) is a comprehensive and well-written history of the American Mafia. Author Selwyn Raab chronicles the rise of Cosa Nostra in the United States, from its humble beginnings in Sicily to its current position as one of the most powerful organized crime syndicates in the world. The book is crammed with fascinating stories and characters, many of whom are larger than life. Raab does an excellent job of explaining the mafia’s code of honor and how it has operated over the years, as well as detailing the organization’s bloody battles with law enforcement.
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Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

JFK’s murder is one of the most highly debated topics in American history. Was it the mafia, a conspiracy, or something else entirely? No one knows for sure, but the theories abound. The mob had a huge impact on American society in the early to mid-20th century. At its peak, the mafia controlled large swaths of the economy and society, from construction to gambling to politics. The mafia was notoriously difficult to prosecute, and many members enjoyed lives of luxury and power. The mafia’s power began to decline in the 1950s and 1960s, as law enforcement cracked down on organized crime and public opinion turned against the mob.

The rise of the Italian-American Mafia coincided with a period of great immigration from Italy to the United States. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, millions of Italians came to America seeking a better life. Many of these immigrants were poor and uneducated, and they turned to crime to survive. The Italian-American Mafia emerged out of this environment, initially as a way for Italian immigrants to protect themselves from other criminal gangs.

Over time, the Mafia became involved in a wide range of illegal activities, including racketeering, gambling, prostitution, loan sharking, and smuggling. The Mafia also acquired a reputation for violence; members were often involved in shootings, beatings, murders, and other forms of intimidation.

Five Families Book Key Points

The secret to Cosa Nostra’s success is a collaboration with Lucky Luciano

In the early history of Cosa Nostra in America, the organization was plagued by infighting and territorial disputes. This changed when Lucky Luciano took over and instituted a policy of collaboration. By working together, the various crime families were able to increase their power and influence. This led to increased profits and a more stable organization. The success of Cosa Nostra can partially be attributed to Luciano’s decision to promote cooperation among the families.

As Cosa Nostra grew richer and more powerful, its ability to keep secrets also increased. The Commission helped develop a strict code of silence known as omerta – violators were dealt with harshly, usually through murder. This code ensured that information about Cosa Nostra’s activity was tightly controlled, making it much harder for law enforcement to penetrate the organization. While Cosa Nostra is often associated with violence and crime.

Luciano’s plan was simple: by working together, they could eliminate wasteful duplication of effort, better coordinate their activities, and most importantly, divide up the spoils more evenly. This new level of cooperation among the families proved to be enormously successful. It soon spread to other cities across America. The plan worked like a charm, and Cosa Nostra quickly rose to become one of the most powerful criminal organizations in history. The secret to their success? Collaboration.

Cosa Nostra, also known as the Mafia, has always been averse to narcotics

Cosa Nostra, or the Mafia, has a long history of being involved in the illegal drug trade. However, there are several reasons why they have never been big fans of narcotics. The Cosa Nostra has always been averse to narcotics. This is because the Mafia is fundamentally about making money, and drugs are simply not good for business. They’re too unpredictable, for one thing. You never know when someone is going to overdose or get caught by the police. And they’re also generally bad for society as a whole. This makes people less likely to want to do business with the Mafia.

In addition, most of the Cosa Nostra’s power comes from its control over traditional businesses like construction, gambling, and loan sharking. These are all legal enterprises that people will always need, so the Mafia can rely on them for income even when times are tough. Narcotics, on the other hand, are illegal and constantly under threat of being shut down by the authorities. It’s just not a stable way to make money.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Mafia is not above profiting from drug addiction – they just prefer to do so indirectly. Gambling, prostitution, and loan sharking are all much safer and more reliable sources of income than dealing drugs. All of this is why the Cosa Nostra has traditionally stayed away from the drug trade. It’s simply not good for business.

If you’re known for being manipulative, people will be wary of you

When you develop a reputation for being a Machiavellian person, people will be wary of you. If you have a reputation for Machiavellianism, beware. People will be watching you closely for signs that you’re trying to manipulate them. They’ll be quick to turn on you if they think you’re being manipulative. So if you want to avoid having a reputation for Machiavellianism, it’s important to be transparent in your motives and open about your goals.

While the benefits of being known as a Machiavellian can be great, some risks come along with this reputation. First and foremost, others may view you as someone manipulative and cunning, which can make it difficult to build trust. Additionally, because Machiavellians often employ underhanded tactics to achieve their goals, others may see them as untrustworthy and unethical. As such, it is important to be aware of the potential downside of having a reputation for Machiavellianism before you attempt to cultivate one.

Five Families Book Quotes

‘Put it in their face,” Gotti urged Sammy the Bull Gravano. “They want to see fucking lions and tigers and that’s what we are.’ -Selwyn Raab

“The link between gangsters nicknamed for food—Benny Eggs and Johnny Sausage—prompted agents to refer to them as “Chin’s Breakfast Club.” -Selwyn Raab

Five Families Book Review

A work of decent research and solid writing, “Five families” is a good book for those interested in the history of organized crime in America. It is also useful for those seeking to understand how mafia-like organizations operate and the power dynamics at play within them. Recommended.

To whom I would recommend the Five Families Book Summary?

  • Anyone who is interested in learning more about American mafia history.
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to be more Machiavellian in his own life.
  • Anyone who is interested in reading about organized crimes.
Five Families Summary - October 2022

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