The Insane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan By Chicago Gangs To Create A Spanish Mafia

Hardcover | August 19, 2015

byJohn M. Hagedorn

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The Insane Chicago Way is the untold story of a daring plan by Chicago gangs in the 1990s to create a Spanish Mafia—and why it failed. John M. Hagedorn traces how Chicago Latino gang leaders, following in Al Capone’s footsteps, built a sophisticated organization dedicated to organizing crime and reducing violence. His lively stories of extensive cross-neighborhood gang organization, tales of police/gang corruption, and discovery of covert gang connections to Chicago’s Mafia challenge conventional wisdom and offer lessons for the control of violence today.

The book centers on the secret history of Spanish Growth & Development (SGD)—an organization of Latino gangs founded in 1989 and modeled on the Mafia’s nationwide Commission. It also tells a story within a story of the criminal exploits of the C-Note$, the “minor league” team of the Chicago’s Mafia (called the “Outfit”), which influenced the direction of SGD. Hagedorn’s tale is based on three years of interviews with an Outfit soldier as well as access to SGD’s constitution and other secret documents, which he supplements with interviews of key SGD leaders, court records, and newspaper accounts. The result is a stunning, heretofore unknown history of the grand ambitions of Chicago gang leaders that ultimately led to SGD’s shocking collapse in a pool of blood on the steps of a gang-organized peace conference.

The Insane Chicago Way is a compelling history of the lives and deaths of Chicago gang leaders. At the same time it is a sociological tour de force that warns of the dangers of organized crime while arguing that today’s relative disorganization of gangs presents opportunities for intervention and reductions in violence.

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The Insane Chicago Way is the untold story of a daring plan by Chicago gangs in the 1990s to create a Spanish Mafia—and why it failed. John M. Hagedorn traces how Chicago Latino gang leaders, following in Al Capone’s footsteps, built a sophisticated organization dedicated to organizing crime and reducing violence. His lively stories of...

John M. Hagedorn is professor of criminology, law, and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of People and Folks and A World of Gangs, coeditor of Female Gangs in America, and editor of Gangs in the Global City.

other books by John M. Hagedorn

A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture
A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture

Kobo ebook|May 13 2008

$19.19$24.87list pricesave 22%
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:August 19, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022623293X

ISBN - 13:9780226232935

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface: This Is Not a Movie
Introduction: Lifting the Veil

Part One: Ambitions

1. The Hit
2. The Old Man and the C-Note$
3. The Transition from Turf to Profits

Part Two: Organization

4. Spanish Growth and Development
5. “Two Dagos, Two Spics, and a Hillbilly”
6. Family Feuds

Part Three: Corruption

7. Envelopes and Ethnic Politics
8. Police Corruption from the Suites to the Streets

Part Four: Catastrophe

9. Ecstasy and Agony
10. The War of the Families
11. The Future of Gangs in Chicago

Notes

Appendix 1. Major Events in Chicago Gang History prior to SGD
Appendix 2. The Ten Years of SGD, Significant Events
Appendix 3. Factual Charges of Ambrose on La Raza to SGD Board
Appendix 4. SGD Grievance Format
Appendix 5. Independence of the SGD within the Organization
Appendix 6. Grievance of the Insane Spanish Cobras against the Latin Eagles
Appendix 7. By-laws of the Insane Family
Appendix 8. Application of the C-Note$ for SGD Membership
Appendix 9. Leyes of the SGD Union

Index

Editorial Reviews

“The Insane Chicago Way is quite original and advances our knowledge on gangs in a number of ways. Most criminologists draw a clear separation between organized crime and street gangs, but Hagedorn shows—in a highly compelling account—how Chicago gangs in the 1990s attempted to emulate the mafia. In doing so he paints a new picture of street gangs as they exist in our neighborhoods—not simply as reflections of other forces but as quasi-institutions, major historical agents in the development of violence and violent traditions.”