cover of book

The Neighborhood Outfit: Organized Crime in Chicago Heights
by Louis Corsino
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Paper: 978-0-252-08029-6 | Cloth: 978-0-252-03871-6 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09666-2
Library of Congress Classification HV6795.C43C67 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 364.106097731

From the slot machine trust of the early 1900s to the prolific Prohibition era bootleggers allied with Al Capone, and for decades beyond, organized crime in Chicago Heights, Illinois, represented a vital component of the Chicago Outfit. Louis Corsino taps interviews, archives, government documents, and his own family's history to tell the story of the Chicago Heights "boys" and their place in the city's Italian American community in the twentieth century.
Debunking the popular idea of organized crime as a uniquely Italian enterprise, Corsino delves into the social and cultural forces that contributed to illicit activities. As he shows, discrimination blocked opportunities for Italians' social mobility and the close-knit Italian communities that arose in response to such limits produced a rich supply of social capital Italians used to pursue alternative routes to success that ranged from Italian grocery stores to union organizing to, on occasion, crime.
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