Mafia Expert/Author Nick Christophers To Feature In Mob Museum's Virtual Book Series

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The Mob Museum recently debuted a virtual book series to highlight recent and upcoming mob books, including by top authors in the genre. All events in the series are free and can be accessed via the web. (We include all pertinent links in the story below.)

Cosa Nostra News's own Nick Christophers has signed on to participate in the event and, on May 26, will discuss the history of the Greek mob in America, a topic that deserves more attention (in our humble opinion). 

Nick will discuss and take questions regarding his recent Mafia Ties: The Greek Syndicates. (The book is currently in contract to be republished under the Canadian-based Coastal West Publishing imprint.)  Mafia Ties, which we read and heartily recommend, details the history of these wily Greek criminals who deftly fashioned critical (and money-making) alliances with the Italian Mafia, including in New York City and Philadelphia--and also were able to successfully partner with other ethnic crime rings, including the Irish and Albanians. This is the first and only book to focus on the Greek criminal element that operated profitably alongside Cosa Nostra. Nick, who formerly was one of the top editors at Mob Candy and has appeared on television programs as a Mafia expert, is one of the most knowledgeable people we know about Cosa Nostra. Nick's event is a must-see that will generously delve into a part of Mafia history that is an untouched gem.

"Most people don't have any clue that these guys even existed," Nick said recently about the Greek mob. "They were so under the radar even the authorities were unaware of them."

The "Greek Mafia" did not have structured families spread across the US like the Italians, Nick said. 

They had two tightknit groups in New York and Philadelphia. Otherwise, there were individuals that worked with the Italians or other crews to further their goals. Gus Alex (Chicago), Spiro Velentzas (NY), Harry Peetros (Philly), Mike Katranis (Detroit), John Venizelos (Canada) and Chris Poulos (LA) are a few of the bigger names that made a dent in the Mafia during their time."

The Mob Museum's book series was organized by Geoff Schumacher, VP of exhibits and programs, and Shakala Alvaranga, the Director of Public Programs. The Mob Museum kicked off the series with Michael Niotta and Avi Bash, authors of Los Angeles Underworld, a "visually chronicled" history of organized crime in Los Angeles. The book showcases "an extraordinary collection of rare and previously unpublished images pulled directly from family photo albums and top secret police files."

Nick Christophers authored Mafia Ties, on the Greek mob in the US. 

Russell Shorto will talk about Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob on April 27. The book, which reportedly has Johnstown, PA., buzzing, focuses on the author's grandfather/namesake, who was part of a small-time criminal clan that scammed and stole--and may have even killed a few people. This Mafia "family" flourished mostly in the 1960s. Smalltime chronicles the story of  mobsters you probably never heard of before. (One reviewer aptly noted that "history has not forgotten them. It never knew them to begin with.") 

The New York Times christened Shorto "a master of historical narrative." Prior to Smalltime, Shorto mostly focused on historical figures off the beaten path like Peter Stuyvesant and Baruch Spinoza. We purchased Smalltime and have been devouring it.

You can find other authors slated to put in an appearance in this complete list. 

That said we're overcoming our laziness to note one more author. (Because we'd feel remiss if we left out a man who we consider one of the Godfathers of mob journalism)..... 

On June 22 from 4 pm to 5 pm, top Newsday journalist Anthony M. DeStefano will discuss his latest book, The Deadly Don: Vito Genovese, Mafia Boss, which will be available in hardcover May 25, 2021. 

This book has been described as  the first comprehensive biography of Genovese (who was described in many old-time news stories as a violent psychopath). Don Vitone of course is the mob boss responsible for creating the First Rat: aka Joe Valachi (who wasn't really the first rat) after he gave the soldier the kiss of death (Genovese must’ve kicked his own ass out of regret for it for the rest of his life). Genovese assumed formal power after enforcer (and later boss) Chin Gigante attempted to blow Frank Costello's brains out. (The bullet missed but was successful in that Frank knew how to take the hint.)