Justin Cascio, who regularly contributes "Mafia Genealogy" columns to Informer, is the author of the just released book, In Our Blood: The Mafia Families of Corleone. The book is available now through Amazon in hardcover, paperback and ebook editions (links below).
While the Mafia criminal society is traditionally viewed as a hierarchical organization, Cascio argues that Mafia networks are largely based on kinship ties.
Cascio, who publishes his own Mafia Genealogy website in addition to his frequent Informer contributions, devoted years of research into his first book-length project. He notes that pivotal figures in Mafia history, including present-day mafiosi, have direct genealogical ties to one another and to the earliest recorded gangs in Corleone, Sicily. In addition to bloodline and marriage connections, some mafiosi also linked through the significant religious/family role of godparent.
Cascio discusses dozens of gangland figures in the United States and Sicily as he analyzes family-based networks that include thousands of individuals. Along the way, he tackles some of the lingering questions about the Mafia: How old is the criminal society? Where was it formed? How did it spread from Sicily to the U.S.?
For the benefit of researchers, Cascio has provided references supporting his assertions. The hardcover and paperback editions of In Our Blood weigh in at 390 pages. The Kindle ebook is rated by Amazon at a print length of 532 pages.