Book Launch At Casa Belvedere Last Week For The Italian Squad: True Story Of Immigrant Cops Who Fought Rise Of Mafia, By Paul Moses

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THE ITALIAN SQUAD: The True Story of the Immigrant Cops Who Fought the Rise of the Mafia, BY PAUL MOSES

Casa Belvedere hosted the book launch on Tuesday, 6/13 at 7PM. Photos from the event were provided by NYU Press

“A well-researched examination of a little-known corner of the NYPD’s past.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Moses provides the definitive account of a fascinating chapter in New York City’s law enforcement history. That dogged pursuit of truth over salaciousness lends the volume authority, which Moses supplements with brisk pacing. New York history nuts will be in heaven.” — Publishers Weekly

caption id=”attachment_11679″ align=”aligncenter” width=”800″] Audre Lourdes Education Cypher Banner. Image Credit – NYU Press [/caption]

The story begins in Sicily, on Friday, March 12, 1909, at 8:45 p.m. Three gunshots thundered in the night, and then a fourth. Two men fled, and investigators soon discovered who they had killed: Giuseppe Petrosino, the legendary American detective whose exploits in New York were celebrated even in Italy.


The Italian Squad: The True Story of the Immigrant Cops Who Fought the Rise of the Mafia by veteran New York City journalist and historian Paul Moses explores the lives of the nationally celebrated detectives who followed in the slain Petrosino’s footsteps as leaders of the New York City investigative squad: Anthony Vachris, Charles Corrao, and Michael Fiaschetti.

caption id=”attachment_11679″ align=”aligncenter” width=”800″] Audre Lourdes Education Cypher Banner. Image Credit – NYU Press[/caption]

Drawing on new primary sources such as private diaries and city, state, and federal documents, this dramatic narrative history follows the Italian Squad across the first two decades of the twentieth century as its detectives battled increasingly powerful gangsters, political obstacles and deeply ingrained prejudice against their own beloved Italian immigrant community.

caption id=”attachment_11679″ align=”aligncenter” width=”800″] Audre Lourdes Education Cypher Banner. Image Credit – NYU Press[/caption]

Vachris, Corrao, and Fiaschetti became, like Petrosino, famous for meting out tough justice to criminals who comprised the “Black Hand.” Beyond trying to prevent horrific crimes—nighttime bombings in crowded tenements, kidnappings that targeted children at play, gangland shootings that killed innocent bystanders—the Italian Squad commanders hoped to persuade society of what they knew for themselves: that their fellow immigrant Italians, so often maligned, would make good American citizens.

caption id=”attachment_11679″ align=”aligncenter” width=”800″] Catered food at the book launch. Image Credit – NYU Press[/caption]


In this explosive story, Moses carefully strips away the mythology that has always enveloped the Italian Squad and offers instead a nuanced portrait of brave but flawed men who fought the good fight for their people and their city.

Banner Image: Book Launch Event at Casa Belvedere with author Paul Moses. Image Credit – NYU Press


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