Thursday, July 25, 2013

'Inside The American Mob': Familiar Story, Endlessly Fascinating

David Hiltbrand at the Philadelphia Inquirer reviews the upcoming National Geographic Channel's new series on American organized crime.

A gritty six-part series, Inside the American Mob chronicles the decline and fall of the Mafia from its apex of power and influence in the '70s to its virtual dismantlement two decades later.

As the rub-out begins (with back-to-back episodes), the New York-based Five Families - Gambino, Colombo, Genovese, Lucchese and Bonanno - have a vise-grip on their far-flung criminal enterprises.

They use an organizational template devised by Mob architect Lucky Luciano back in 1931. A strict tradition of ethnicity (all "made men" must be 100 percent Italian) and vicious intimidation has kept them impermeable to infiltration by law enforcement agents.

Inside the American Mob, which debuts 9 p.m. Sunday on National Geographic Channel, maintains that a variety of factors altered the blood-soaked playing field in the '70s, beginning with a generational shift on both sides of the fence.

... The Inquirer's veteran crime reporter George Anastasia assumes a primary presence in next week's episode, "New York-Philly War," detailing the reign of terror that subsumed the Philadelphia Mafia after the seismic assassination of the city's "Docile Don," Angelo Bruno, in 1980.

With rival factions eager to claim the corrupt boomtown that was Atlantic City, Nicodemo Scarfo ascended to Boss, unleashing a brutal string of murders (18 in four years). Scarfo's rule was so ruthless that two of his closest associates, including his nephew Crazy Phil Leonetti, flipped, becoming extremely productive witnesses for the government.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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