Ruthless, cruel, and irresistibly cool: the Mafia has always appealed to the darker side of the imagination. But just what is the Mafia, how does it operate, and what can be done to combat it? James Finckenauer debunks the romantic notions and mystique surrounding the Mafia to reveal the harsh realities of global organized crime in countries spanning from Japan to Russia to Colombia. Demonstrating that organizations like the Mafia are multi-faceted and far more complex than imagined, he argues that organized crime destabilises society on a global scale, perpetuating untold economic, physical, psychological, and societal damage through its control of criminal markets, violence and corruption. Providing vital insight into a hidden world, Mafia: A Beginner s Guide is ideal reading for anyone intrigued by, or concerned about, this widely misunderstood phenomenon. James Finckenauer has written extensively on organized crime. He is a Distinguished Professor at the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, and former Director of the National Institute of Justice, Washington DC."