Is there a sibling rivalry over Blood Brothers?
by Carl Russo
AS AN AMERICAN, I find it hard to get amped up about World Cup 2014. But I have a fantasy bout going between two of my favorite Mafia experts. This weekend’s mob must-read is one great crime writer’s review of another’s book. Alexander Stille (Excellent Cadavers) takes a soft swipe at John Dickie (Cosa Nostra) over his latest book, Blood Brotherhoods: A History of Italy’s Three Mafias. In tomorrow’s New York Times Book Review, Stille writes,
Dickie, in his attempt to give coherence to so much material, makes overly grand claims about the essential unity of Italy’s various crime groups. If he had shortened his book by 20 percent, reduced the rhetorical temperature by 20 degrees and scaled back some of his more ambitious assertions, one would be left with an extremely valuable history of Italian organized crime.