Posts Tagged “mafia”

What I Observed about Research Networking from Joining the Mafia

I’ve written before about Joseph Pistone, an undercover FBI agent who tricked his way into joining the U.S. mafia in the 1970s, and how his account of the mafia reminds me of my experience of doing research. Here’s another connection between the underworld and the research world. Brasco tells this story about his boss, Sonny, who has just come back from a meeting with the big boss of another organization (Trafficante). Think of this like a middle manager meeting with a CEO of a different company. This is what we read:

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Social Skills in Context, or How being a Professor is Kind of Like Being a Mafia Hitman

Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero was a fearsome Mafia hitman in New York in the 70s. According to an undercover FBI agent who knew him well, he was smart and savvy in underworld situations. He could walk into a restaurant where he knew no one, watch who talked to who, watch how they talked, and work out who was in the underworld, who received more deference, whether the restaurant was being extorted.

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