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

About the Author

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.

Reviews

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 Carre
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

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