Crimes of the Powerful (CotP), published in 1976, was the first book to make the case in any depth that the phenomena known as “corporate crime” and “organized crime” were not mutually exclusive. Frank Pearce argued that gangsters, far from being dictators in their various cities and fields of activity, were better described as servants to local, corporate and governmental elites. This contribution builds on Pearce’s analysis to make the case that the idea of supercriminal organizations, such as the one allegedly headed by Al Capone in Chicago, acted as a smokescreen to conceal anti-democratic, anti-radical tendencies within the American state.
Woodiwiss, M. (2018). Underworld as servant and smokescreen: Crimes of the Powerful and the evolution of organized crime control. In S. Bittle, L. Snider, S. Tombs, & D. Whyte (Eds.), Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful: Marxism, Crime and Deviance. (1). London: Taylor & Francis (Routledge). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315212333