Books: Hoodlums & History

THE MAFIA AND POLITICS by Michele Pantaleone. 255 pages. Cowarcf-Mc-Cann. $5.50.

On July 15, 1943, a U.S. fighter plane flying a yellow banner emblazoned with a black "L" dropped a small nylon bag in the plaza of Villalba, Sicily. The bag was addressed to "Uncle Calo"—Calogero Vizzini, the millionaire chief of Italy's Mafia. In the bag was a gold foulard handkerchief belonging "to Gangster Lucky Luciano—a sign that Lucky wanted his old pals to play paisan to the Yanks. Four days later, when three U.S. tanks rolled into town, Vizzini climbed into one of...

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