An Offer We Can't Refuse

The Mafia in the Mind of America

George De Stefano

Faber and Faber, Inc.

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A provocative and entertaining look at the mafia, the media, and the (un)making of Italian Americans.

As evidenced in countless films, novels, and television portrayals, the Mafia has maintained an enduring hold on the American cultural imagination--even as it continues to wrongly color our real-life perception of Italian Americans. In An Offer We Can't Refuse, George De Stefano takes a close look at the origins and prevalence of the Mafia mythos in America. Beginning with a consideration of Italian emigration in the early twentieth century and the fear and prejudice--among both Americans and Italians--that informed our earliest conception of what was at the time the largest immigrant group to enter the United States, De Stefano explores how these impressions laid the groundwork for the images so familiar to us today and uses them to illuminate and explore the variety and allure of Mafia stories--from Coppola's romanticized paeans to Scorsese's bloody realism to the bourgeois world of David Chase's Sopranos--while discussing the cultural richness often contained in these works. At the same time, he addresses the lingering power of the goodfella cliché and the lamentable extent to which it is embedded in our consciousness, making it all but impossible to green-light a project about the Italian American experience not set in gangland.

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An Offer We Can't Refuse
1Italians to Italian Americans: Escaping the "Southern Problem"O Mafiosi, Bad uncles of the barren Cliffs of Sicily--was it only you That they transported in barrels Like pure olive oil Across the Atlantic?--Sandra Mortola Gilbert1 
 
From the late nineteenth century to the mid-1920s, southern peninsular Italy and Sicily lost so many of its sons and daughters to emigration that their departure has been likened to a hemorrhage. Among the millions of impoverished, landless, often illiterate emigrants were my grandparents, the De Stefanos from Avellino,

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Reviews

Praise for An Offer We Can't Refuse

"Finally, a book that helps to explain America's enduring fascination with the mythology of the Mafia. For anyone who's interested in the subject, An Offer We Can't Refuse is essential reading--thoughtful, informative, entertaining, and most of all, even-handed."--John Turturro


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About the Author

George De Stefano

George De Stefano is a journalist and critic who has written extensively on
culture for numerous publications, including The Nation, Film Comment, and Newsday.

George De Stefano

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Available Formats and Book Details

An Offer We Can't Refuse
The Mafia in the Mind of America
George De Stefano

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
January 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429927628
ISBN10: 1429927623
448 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
January 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865479623
ISBN10: 0865479623
5 5/8 x 8 11/16 inches, 448 pages, Includes 16 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations, Notes, and an Index
$35.00
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