“Raab sets a new gold standard for organized crime nonfiction with his outstanding history.”
---Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"...enlightening chronicle of the rise of the five Mafia families..." --Entertainment Weekly
"Raab's meticulouly researched history is an engrossing initiation."
--The Baltimore Sun
"A classic piece of reporting by a man who knows the bloody, brutal, corrupt territory."
--Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes
“[Raab’s] sprawling history offers sufficient anecdotes to fuel a half-dozen “Godfather” sequals and keep “The Sopranos” well stocked with mayhem for another decade.”
"So well written and encompassing."
--Detroit Free Press
"In this definitive account of the royal families of mobdom, Selwyn Raab not only tells us where the bodies are buried, he brings them back to life."
--Thomas Reppetto, author of American Mafia
"After an eight-decade run in which its executives built the most powerful criminal organization in U.S. history, the American Mafia began to unravel at the end of the 20th century. It did so in a convulsion of blood and treachery, fueled by out-of-control egos. Selwyn Raab was there, in the streets, the precinct houses, and the courtrooms to record that story. No one does it better. "
--Tom Robbins, reporter, Village Voice
"In my more than fifty years as a reporter, there is no journalist whom I've respected more than Selwyn Raab at The New York Times in covering New York's criminal justice system. He was tireless and painstaking in investigating the investigators, sometimes helping to prove innocence, but equally fair and conscientious in cases that ended in conviction. His riveting book Five Families will be I'm sure the definitive history of the Mafia in New York for a long time to come. It is a model of what journalism can be."
--Nat Hentoff, columnist, Village Voice
“A well-researched, well-written historical account of the murderous, double-dealing and often-sophisticated gangsters who shot their way into American folklore and created a criminal empire that has fleeced Americans and confounded law enforcement for more than 100 years. Raab’s work surpasses all the rest.”
--Mafia expert Jerry Capeci; webmaster, GangLandNews.com; author, The Complete Idiot’s Guide To The Mafia
"While the introduction to Five Families says the Bonnano, Genovese, Luchesse, Colombo, and Gambino families were among the reigning giants of the underworld, what it doesn't say is that the book about them is by one of the reigning giants of journalism, Selwyn Raab."
--Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes and author of Tell Me A Story