Deadly deals, twisted criminals, and shady government officials—discover the dark truth about the powerful people controlling the world.
An investigative reporter pens an explosive indictment of how the Bush Administration wasted billions in Iraq through sweetheart deals to G.O.P. supporters, outrageous contracts to corrupt companies, and absurdly naive assumptions.
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The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, is far from being Italy's only dangerous criminal fraternity. The country hosts two other major mafias: the camorra from Naples; and, from the poor and isolated region of Calabria, the mysterious 'ndrangheta, which has now risen to become the most powerful mob group active today.
Since they emerged, the mafias have all corrupted Italy's institutions, drastically curtailed the life-chances of its citizens, evaded justice, and set up their own self-interested meddling as an alternative to the courts. Yet each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity. Each is uniquely adapted to corrupt and exploit its own specific environment, as it collaborates with, learns from, and goes to war with the other mafias.
Today, the shadow of organized crime hangs over a country racked by debt, political paralysis, and widespread corruption. The 'ndrangheta controls much of Europe's wholesale cocaine trade and, by some estimates, 3 percent of Italy's total GDP. Blood Brotherhoods traces the origins of this national malaise back to Italy's roots as a united country in the nineteenth century, and shows how political violence incubated underworld sects among the lemon groves of Palermo, the fetid slums of Naples, and the harsh mountain villages of Calabria.
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In a secret meeting in 1981, a low-level Boston thief gave career gangster Ralph Rossetti the tip of a lifetime: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was a big score waiting to happen. Though its collections included priceless artworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and others, its security was cheap, mismanaged, and out of date. And now, it seemed, the whole Boston criminal underworld knew it.
Nearly a decade passed before the Museum was finally hit. But when it finally happened, the theft quickly became one of the most infamous art heists in history: thirteen works of art valued at up to 500 million, by some of the most famous artists in the world, were taken. The Boston FBI took control of the investigation, but twenty-five years later the case is still unsolved and the artwork is still missing.
Stephen Kurkjian, one of the top investigative reporters in the country, has been working this case for over nearly twenty years. In Master Thieves, he sheds new light on some of the Gardner’s most abiding mysteries. Why would someone steal these paintings, only to leave them hidden for twenty-five years? And why, if one of the top crime bosses in the city knew about this score in 1981, did the theft happen in 1990? What happened in those intervening years? And what might all this have to do with Boston’s notorious gang wars of the 1980s?
Kurkjian’s reporting is already responsible for some of the biggest breaks in this story, including a meticulous reconstruction of what happened at the Museum that fateful night. Now Master Thieves will reveal the identities of those he believes plotted the heist, the motive for the crime, and the details that the FBI has refused to discuss. Taking you on a journey deep into the gangs of Boston, Kurkjian emerges with the most complete and compelling version of this story ever told.
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Strange Trade tells the compelling stories of Mary, a Liberian drug courier with a college education, and Pauline, a Ugandan wife, mother, and drug cartel boss. A leading expert on women and organized crime, Asale Angel-Ajani spent years interviewing these women in Italy's notorious Rebibbia Prison—and gained unprecedented access into the narcotics trade. Herself the daughter of a drug trafficker, Angel-Ajani brings a wrenching, deeply personal perspective to the account of these women's lives, and offers a nuanced understanding of the global context within which African women are entering the drug trade in ever-increasing numbers.
Strange Trade follows Pauline and Mary as they traverse three continents, survive wars, poverty, and shattered families, secure drug shipments, and commit murder. Angel-Ajani paints rich, intimate, and profoundly surprising portraits without glamorizing, sanitizing, or offering judgment. The result is an unvarnished journey into a world that, until now, has remained hidden; and a glimpse into the motives that led these women to risk—and ultimately lose—everything.
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In the early hours of an August 2007 morning a gunfight broke out in an Italian restaurant in Duisburg, Germany; in less than five minutes over seventy shots were fired into the bodies of six men. Both the victims and the assassins were members of the 'Ndrangheta crime organization. Calabria's Mafia had brazenly shown its savage influence outside Italy for the first time.
In The Honored Society award-winning investigative reporter Petra Reski reveals the Mafia menace lurking throughout the world—rom espresso bars in Palermo to European halls of parliament to the corporate headquarters of enormous agricultural firms. In haunting and exquisite prose she explores the Byzantine structure of the 'Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra and other mafia clans throughout Italy—the code they live by, the destruction they wreak, how they operate within the country and how they operate internationally. She shows how these syndicates dominate everything from nuclear waste disposal to hotel chains to the marijuana trade in Australia and cocaine trafficked throughout the world. Reski shows how figures such as Silvio Berlusconi were made by the Mafia, and how those who dared to defy its codes were broken. A searing portrait of the criminals who have come to control not only Italy but vast swathes of the globe, The Honored Society is a journalistic tour de force.
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In 2011, Carmen Segarra took a job as at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York supervising for Goldman Sachs. It was an opportunity, she believed, to monitor the big bank’s behavior in order to avoid another financial crisis.
Segarra was shocked to discover, however, the full extent of the relationship between Goldman and the Fed. She began making secret recordings that later became the basis of a This American Life episode that exposed the Fed’s ineffectiveness in holding banks accountable.
In Noncompliant, Segarra chronicles her experience blowing open the doors on the relationship between the big banks and the government bodies set up to regulate them.
As we mark the tenth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, Noncompliant shows us how little has changed, and offers an urgent call for real reforms.
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In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.
With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts theissues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted—but redeemable—representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.
While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In Republic Lost, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.
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