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Boss of Bosses: How One Man Saved the Sicilian Mafia

Clare Longrigg

5 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction, History, Business & management

A story of passion and betrayal, about the man who brought Cosa Nostra back from the brink of disaster.

Bernado Provenzano, head of the Sicilian mafia, is Italy's most notorious criminal. But despite apparent sightings all over Europe, for 43 years he eluded the police. Until, on 11 April 2006, a crack police team broke into a tiny shepherd's hut in the mountains above Corleone. At last they were able to capture Provenzano, just a few miles from his home.

A master of reinvention, he has been known variously as the Tractor, the Accountant, Uncle Bernie and even the Axe Man. He took over Cosa Nostra when it was on its knees, after the carnage of an all-out war with the state, and restored its power by going underground and infiltrating business, law and politics at the highest levels. In prison his human side emerged when his sole request was to marry his devoted companion, Saveria, who stood by him through years on the run.

Provenzano's story is one of passion and betrayal, told by the investigators who tracked him down, the spies who worked for him, the officers who arrested him and his consigliere at the heart of Cosa Nostra.

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Praise for Boss of Bosses: How One Man Saved the Sicilian Mafia

  • Perceptive ... Longrigg traces Provenzano's rise from stealing barrels of pecorino cheese in Corleone in the 1950s to the top of Cosa Nostra - New Statesman

  • Fascinating ... Longrigg avoids the usual pitfalls Mafia chroniclers are susceptible to - London Lite

  • In this thrilling history ... (Longrigg) meticulously traces the career of the man known as "the Accountant" - Sunday Times

  • Authoritative and absorbing - Guardian

  • Longrigg treats her subject seriously, a relief from the melodrama that dangerously trivialises so much Mafia literature - Sunday Telegraph

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