Giuseppe Costa and the Teaching of Naples' Camorra to America

Aug 25, 2014 683

by George De Stefano

In this interview, the scholar from SUNY Stony Brook talks about his personal involvement with the issue of organized crime in Campania: "I lost my little four-year-old cousin to stomach cancer, and the doctor said it was most likely linked to toxic waste. So I take it very seriously... I have had enough of Dante and Petrarch conferences. My students want to know what is going on now in Italy, and they have the right to know"

Most children don't wake up during the night to the sound of exploding bombs – unless they live in a war zone. Giuseppe Costa, as a child, had that terrifying experience, even though his middle-class family lived not in Beirut or Baghdad but in Torre del Greco, a medium-sized city in the province of Naples. But in a sense, Costa did live in a war zone, except the combatants were not soldiers or guerilla fighters but gangsters belonging to rival camorra clans.

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