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Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite
The Battle for Sicily's Soul: The Rise of the Mafia and the Fight to Free Sicily from its Evil Tyranny by Claudine Cassar is a must-read historical nonfiction book. It focuses on the Sicilian Mafia and gives a deeper understanding of the origin of the criminal organization's name. It shows how the most powerful criminal organization in Sicily, Cosa Nostra, manipulated and corrupted Sicilian society and the Catholic Church for decades to suit its criminal purposes. Cassar presents the factors that created the perfect environment for Cosa Nostra to grow and take over the island. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the criminal society itself. It also takes a look at its history, economic realities, and power hierarchies to truly understand the nature of Cosa Nostra. Claudine Cassar explains how it survived and kept its inner workings veiled in a shroud of secrecy for so long.
The Battle for Sicily's Soul by Claudine Cassar is a well-researched book exposing the disturbing effects of one of the most violent criminal organizations in the world on Sicilian society and the Catholic Church. This book impressed me with its fascinating information on how the Sicilian Mafia infiltrated the local culture. It intrigued me to learn how the movie The Godfather became an inspiration for Cosa Nostra's members. This engrossing account skillfully reveals how the Sicilian Mafia was able to create a false yet appealing narrative that served its members well over the years. It is worth reading as it shows the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in the attempts by Cosa Nostra to re-establish its image in Sicilian society.