The Italian Squad: The True Story of the Immigrant Cops Who Fought the Rise of the Mafia

Paul Moses, Brooklyn College, CUNY

On March 12, 1909, New York City police detective Giuseppe Petrosino was murdered in Palermo while investigating transatlantic criminal activity. The Italian Squad (NYU Press, 2023), by journalist Paul Moses, explores the lives of the Italian-born detectives who followed in Petrosino’s footsteps as members of a nationally celebrated investigative squad. In addition to combatting crime—nighttime bombings, kidnappings, gangland shootings—the Italian Squad, as they came to be known, also fought the deeply ingrained prejudice against their immigrant community. Moses carefully strips away the mythology that has enveloped this police team and offers instead a nuanced portrait of the brave but flawed men who fought the good fight for their people and their city.