The Public Interest

God and the Mafia

Gordon Hawkins

Winter 1969

A PERPLEXING and elusive problem confronts the student seeking information about organized crime. It concerns the concept “organized crime” itself. For a curious feature characterizes almost all the literature on the subject, up to and including the Task Force Report on this topic published in 1967 by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. This is that a large proportion of what has been written seems not to be dealing with an empirical matter at all. It is almost as though what is referred to as organized crime belonged to the realm of metaphysics or theology.

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