Reversible Destiny traces the history of the Sicilian mafia to its nineteenth-century roots and examines its late twentieth-century involvement in urban real estate and construction as well as drugs. Based on research in the regional capital of Palermo, this book suggests lessons regarding secretive organized crime: its capacity to reproduce a subculture of violence through time, its acquisition of a dense connective web of political and financial protectors during the Cold War era, and the sad reality that repressing it easily risks harming vulnerable people and communities. Charting the efforts of both the judiciary and a citizen's social movement to reverse the mafia's economic, political, and cultural power, the authors establish a framework for understanding both the difficulties and the accomplishments of Sicily's multifaceted antimafia efforts.
Publisher: University of California Press
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 458 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"The Schneiders have performed a near miracle: an accurate, objective, and very readable account of the Palermo anti-mafia movement, its roots, its accomplishments, its shortcomings, and its prospects. This should be obligatory reading for anyone concerned with the consequences of organized crime and corruption for civic life."
"Jane and Peter Schneider have done it again! Far from utopian, their clear-eyed vision illuminates the deep roots of the Mafia's cultural legitimacy, the obstacles that the anti-Mafia movement has encountered, and the continuing struggle to build a civil society in the city."