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Crime as business


  • Leonardo Gandini

    () (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia - Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Culturali)


The image of the gangster in early Hollywood cinema is subject to an evolution that reflects the perception of business in American society. During the tens and the twenties, the gangster is described more as a bandit than as a racketeer, whose crimes are limited to the neighborhood where he was born and raised. After the Wall Street crash, the Hollywood gangster is described as a businessman in order to underline his proximity to capitalist entrepreneurs. His wealth and his luxurious lifestyle are the main reason of his downfall, since he neglects criminal business and loses control of the racket.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gandini, 2014. "Crime as business," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 22(3), pages 159-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:22:y:2014:3:8:p:159-166

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