Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwain
Deconstructing Organized Crime
An Historical and Theoretical Study
Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwain, Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study (MacFarlane, 2012) is not, as some academics might think, a post-modern analysis of organized crime. It is however, an exercise of deconstructing by trying to look past the common assumptions and myths to explain the phenomenon we call organized crime.
The book starts with a debunking of mythology around the American Mafia and its popular history. It then moves on to define organized crime and analyse what it means to organise crime. This is often overlooked in many books on the topic. How does organization assist criminals and what types of crime can be organized? The authors also present a good analysis of the illicit market place and the difficulties of running a free market without rules. So it’s a sort of Libertarians meet Hobbes making for large profits but a potentially nasty, brutish and short life. The final chapters of the book look at the nature of the marketplace in a modern globalised society.
I have read many, many books on this topic and I still found this book to be quite refreshing. It definitely meets its goal of jumping over the unanswered questions and myths and getting to the heart of organized crime. It would be an excellent text for undergraduate classes in the topic as it will sweep away the mainstream media typologies and make them think about the nature of the criminal world and its reason for existence.