Organized crime has been ingrained, and often glorified, in the global cultural lexicon for hundreds of years, but Dave Courvoisier's spirited and captivating reading of James O. Finckenauer’s primer on organized crime and how its influence has reached, and continues to reach, into all spheres of life in every corner of the world, from the streets of New York City to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, provides a thorough, warts-and-all examination of this widespread phenomenon that is both highly listenable and genuinely revelatory.
Inhumanely cruel and irresistibly cool, the Mafia has always captured the darker side of the imagination. But just what is the Mafia, how does it operate, and what can be done to combat it? In this dramatic and informative audiobook, James Finckenauer rejects the Mafia mystique and explores the sinister reality lurking beneath the romanticised surface.
Demonstrating that the Mafia is a multi-faceted and complex phenomenon, he argues that it destabilises society on a global scale through its control of criminal markets, violence, and corruption. Mafia and Organised Crimeis indispensable for anyone intrigued with or alarmed by this widely misunderstood phenomenon.
I did not expect a 'Sopranos' mob entertainment piece here. I expected a survey of research and theory. And this is it. It is dry as a bone. OK, I like Medieval theology, I'm not exactly Mister Razzle Dazzle, I can handle that. But here, something that could be said in two sentences with plain English takes three paragraphs. Simple logical observations are rephrased (by the PhD mill apparently being cited as we go, symptomatic of how this academic business must have shaped up) into endless restatements featuring graduate-degree jargon. Who knows how much public money is spent on this sort of thing. I could generate this stuff in real time all day, and charge by the word and the minute. I picked the wrong job! I would be putting people to sleep at law enforcement and criminology junkets, and pocketing a lot more than I do now, in nice beachy settings. And getting the accolades. Feeling so special. Instead I am fighting my eyelids drooping to get the worthwhile parts.
Yeah, some of this is useful. It is the percentage of such content that annoys me. Who might this be useful to (other than as an aggressive treatment for insomnia)? Policymakers and law enforcers. This could be the first day's couple of hours (with all the needless academic fluff culled out) of the 101 seminar. Things would be heard that could be useful in lawmaking and in the field. Yes, once about every eight minutes I do hear one description, phrasing or fact that is vaguely novel or useful to me. I teach law, so I pledged myself to ride it out. I really wanted to like this book. Sigh.
The audio sample was interesting, as it referred to "enterprise theory" which makes great sense in analyzing what criminals are doing. Having listened through it, it could as easily (and more sensibly and quickly) have been said, "they are in it for the money" "using team structures and other tools lawful businesses also use." That helps illustrate my continuous sense of letdown here. I'm gaining from this, but I'm being made to pay extra for it.