GANGSTER CAPITALISM by Michael Woodiwiss


The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime
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An analysis of international crime that purports to demonstrate that it’s the people who run American corporations who are the real criminals.

This might have been an excellent book. Perhaps even an important one. It contains a great deal of information about the ways American government and American businesses have contributed to global criminality. Alas, Woodiwiss, an American history lecturer at the University of the West of England, has another target in his sights, his main argument being that American corporations don’t simply abet criminality—they are themselves criminal organizations. He offers that the American government’s war on organized crime is just a diversion, distracting people from the real criminals, and that the major difference between the laissez-faire, robber-baron capitalism of the late-19th century and today’s capitalism is that America has spread the latter variety around the globe. It’s odd, indeed, that Woodiwiss can have so obviously read so many books about American history, as well as so many government reports and articles in the popular press, without finding a single redeeming feature of present-day free-market capitalism. But the real mystery here is why he finds it necessary to brand the American government’s war on organized crime a conspiracy, and conflate the CEOs of American corporations with Mafia dons. Attempting to redefine bad political judgments and policy errors as cloak-and-dagger malefactions, Woodiwiss is preaching to those already convinced that the triumph of free market capitalism was one of history’s great tragedies.

A great many facts, statistics and historical snippets in search of a credible argument.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7867-1671-1
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2005


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