Non-Fiction: Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires by Selwyn Raab


This 10th-anniversary edition of the New York Times bestselling history of the Mafia’s infamous Five Families, features a new preface by the author.

Selwyn Raab’s Five Families is the vivid story of the rise and fall of New York’s premier dons from Lucky Luciano to Paul Castellano to John Gotti and more. The book also brings the reader right up to the possible resurgence of the Mafia as the FBI and local law enforcement agencies turn their attention to homeland security and away from organized crime.

Purchase your copy here.

Back Cover Copy of Five Families:

Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese. For decades these Five Families ruled New York and built the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) into an underworld empire. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals and generational changes that produced violent and unreliable leaders and recruits. A twenty year assault against the five families in particular blossomed into the most successful law enforcement campaign of the last century.

For half a century, the American Mafia outwitted, outmaneuvered, and outgunned the FBI and other police agencies, wreaking unparalleled damage on America’s social fabric and business enterprises while emerging as the nation’s most formidable crime empire. The vanguard of this criminal juggernaut is still led by the Mafia’s most potent and largest borgatas: New York’s Five Families.

About Selwyn Raab:

Since 1974, Selwyn Raab has been a reporter for The New York Times and has won dozens of awards for his coverage of the Mafia. He’s appeared countless times on both local and national news shows and in documentaries about the Mafia for the History Channel and A&E. More than a newsman he is also something of a crusader, having played an important role in exposing fabricated testimony surrounding the conviction of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. Raab is  the author of Justice in the Back Room which was the basis for the legendary “Kojak” television series and the very successful Mob Lawyer, which shed new light on who killed Jimmy Hoffa and JFK.

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