This timely volume is an anthology of writings in Italian which examine the origins, nature and culture of the Sicilian mafia. Separate chapters are devoted to the culture from which the mafia emerged, the economic and business activities in which it is now engaged, its relations with politics and politicians, as well as its structure and historical evolution. There are portraits of prominent mafiosi as well as of the people and organisations that have struggled against mafia crime. The individual pieces come from the most diverse sources, including newspapers, historical and sociological works. There is an introduction in English as well as a full vocabulary and a glossary of terms associated with the mafia. From these composite elements a complete and rounded picture of the mafia is constructed, making it an invaluable text for those interested in Italian culture.