We see mafias as vast, powerful organizations, harvesting billions of dollars across the globe and wrapping their tentacles around everything from governance to finance. But is this the truth?
Traveling from mafia initiation ceremonies in far-flung Russian cities to elite gambling clubs in downtown Macau, Federico Varese sets off in search of answers. Using wiretapped conversations, interviews, and previously unpublished police records, he builds up a picture of the real men and women caught up in mafia life, showing their loves and fears, ambitions and disappointments, as well as their crimes.
Mafia Life takes us into the real world of organized crime, where henchmen worry about bad managers and have high blood pressure, assassinations are bungled as often as they come off, and increasing pressure from law enforcement means that a life of crime is no longer lived in the lap of luxury.
As our world changes, so must mafias. Globalization, migration, and technology are disrupting their traditions and threatening their revenue streams, and the Mafiosi must evolve or die. Mafia Life is an intense and totally compelling look at these organizations and the daily life of their members, as they get to grips with the modern world.