Over the last twenty years the camorra of Naples and the surrounding region has risen to a level of strength rivalling that of the Sicilian mafia.
This is not a new organization: the Camorra first emerged in the last century, several decades before the mafia. Tom Behan traces the history of the organization from its inception to the present. Until the 1970s the extent of its influence fluctuated, although it always maitained close relationships with the politiciains of the region. However, since the 1970s new and more powerful forms of camorra have developed: Raffaele Cutola's 'mass camorra' of unemployed youth specialise in protection rackets, Lorenzo Nuvoletta's 'business camorra' has reinvested drug money into construction following the 1980 earthquake, and Carmine Alfieri's 'political camorra' has become extremely profitable through its ability to obtain public sector contracts.
The Camorra is a fascinating account of the transformation of the small-time cigarette smugglers of the 1960s to the international entrepreneurs of the 1990s.
Tom Behan lived in Naples from 1979 to 1985, where he witnessed many of the events described in this book at close hand. He has since lectured in Italian Politics at the University of Reading and at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He is currently lecturer in Italian at the University of Glasgow.