In different ways, and to varying degrees, the title characters in Alex Perry’s new book, The Good Mothers: The Story of the Three Women Who Took On the World’s Most Powerful Mafia, challenged organized crime in Italy. These Mafia wives did so with the help of prosecutors who cannily understood that the misogyny embedded in Italy’s organized crime syndicates—wives and daughters are the victims or horrific violence and brutal living conditions—could be used to get some of these women to turn on the men in their lives. As well as providing a window into the worlds of three very complex women, Perry’s book is a journey through Italy’s horrifying, still-powerful underworld.
I spoke by phone recently with Perry, who divides his time between magazine journalism and book writing. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed why the mob has been so hard to defeat in Italy, how organized crime groups differ in their treatment of women, and the dangers of Mafia reporting……Click Here To Keep Reading