The title of Mike Dash’s book, The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia, says it all. Anyone with an interest in learning more about the history of organized crime in the U.S., in particular the history of the Mafia and its nexus to Italian Americans, may want to read this book. According to Dash, the story of Giuseppe Morello, a Sicilian immigrant who became the American Mafia’s “boss of bosses,” proves that the American Mafia was not created by Prohibition-era bootlegging, nor by Sicilian Mafia bosses who dispatched members to New York but by individuals like Morello. At the same time, Joe Petrosino, the Sicilian-born NYPD detective, gave his life trying to prevent men like Morello from “ruining the reputation of Italians in general,” according to the Washington Post. Read the book and share your views.