The Godmother: Murder, Vengeance, and the Bloody Struggle of Mafia Women by Latza Nadeau, Barbie

The Godmother: Murder, Vengeance, and the Bloody Struggle of Mafia Women

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"The Godmother [is a] crisply written, dutifully researched book exploring the role of women in the...underbelly of Italian life."
--New York Times Book Review

The chilling story of one woman's rise to prominence in the Italian Mafia, and the as-yet untold stories of the women who followed in her footsteps.

For as long as it has gripped our imaginations, the Mafia has been tied to an ingrained image of masculinity. We read about "made men," "wiseguys," and "goodfellas" leading criminal organizations whose culture prizes machismo, with women as ancillary and often-powerless characters: trivialized mistresses and long-suffering mob wives. The reality is far more complex.

In The Godmother, investigative journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau tells the stories of the women who have risen to prominence, and fallen out of favor, in the Italian mob, beginning with the most infamous of these women: Pupetta Maresca. A Mafia woman born and raised, Pupetta avenged her husband's murder, firing 29 shots at the man who killed him.

Woven throughout Pupetta's story is Nadeau's diligent research, and her personal interviews with the Mafia women themselves. Nadeau takes readers inside the Mafia families to paint a complete and complex portrait of the real culture that has shaped the Mafia, and the women who are part of it.

Leaving behind the stereotypes we know from Mafia movies, The Godmother shows the Mafia in an entirely new light: full-fledged, ruthless, twenty-first-century criminal enterprises led by whoever is strong enough and smart enough to take control.

Author: Barbie Latza Nadeau
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: 09/06/2022
Pages: 256
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.4lbs
Size: 8.00h x 5.30w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9780143136118


Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 07/04/2022
Kirkus Reviews 08/01/2022
Library Journal 08/01/2022 pg. 112

About the Author
Barbie Latza Nadeau is an American journalist and author who has lived in Rome, Italy, since 1996. She has worked as the Rome bureau chief for Newsweek Magazine and currently holds that position for The Daily Beast. She is an on-air contributor for CNN and a writer for Scientific American. Barbie's first book Angel Face about the murder of Meredith Kercher and the criminal trials of Amanda Knox was adapted for film in 2011. Her current, UK-published book Roadmap to Hell: Sex, Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast chronicles the tragic journeys of Nigerian women trafficked for sex in Italy.

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