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The Mafia of a Sicilian Village 1860-1960: A Study of Violent Peasant Entrepreneurs

The system producing mafia is cruel and curious. It parallels government in some respects, and intertwines government in other respects. Like some governments, its operators rely on control of concentrated and effective means of coercion to keep the bulk of the population in line. Like some governments, the beneficiaries of the system, directly or indirectly, tax the producers of wealth--the agricultural workers. And, like many governments, the system permits each of the operators to scoop some of the proceeds from the flow toward the top. The Sicilian phenomenon of mafia is over a century old. In this study, Blok closes in on the circumstances that created mafia and singles out the structures that keep it thriving in a Sicilian village he knows, loves, and grieves for.

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