Button Guys of The New York Mafia is dedicated to the Mafia’s history from when it first arrived in this country in the early 1900s through its growth years during Prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s and into what could arguably be considered its “Golden Era” from the 1940s to the 1980s – a Golden Era that has long since passed, never to be enjoyed by the underworld in this country again.
Our viewpoint is that the mob’s Golden Era is when the greatest mafiosi, mobsters, and racketeers operated and when the greatest of rackets existed. It was the perfect storm of tremendous poverty, inferior penal laws on the books, a lax and ignorant law enforcement, and when the most lucrative opportunities existed in a young, fledgling America. This combination created the ideal atmosphere for the underworld to flourish. And flourish they did – to the point that many in law enforcement and our nation’s capitol viewed and feared the Mafia as a competing “second government” operating parallel to those in Washington, D.C., weaving itself deeply into the very fabric of legitimate upper society itself.
Today, the world has changed, and the mob has changed right along with it. The same need for the organization and the “Brotherhood” simply does not exist today, and the combination of the draconian laws now on the books coupled with law enforcement’s sophisticated investigative techniques, and the harsh penalties now meted out have greatly diminished the strength of a once proud, tightly-run rank and file that led to the great success and wealth that many racketeers achieved.
Additionally, the low-quality of potential street guy out there today, generally speaking, is a completely different breed of individual as well. With few coming from the abject poverty that spawned their original “need” and determination, the players involved today, and the situation as currently exists on the street do not lend itself to the cohesive, strict Roman legion-like dedication and adherence to the rules of Cosa Nostra as it once did. And the results of that are clearly evident.
From the seeds of its first inception and formation hundreds and hundreds of years ago in the rural hills and towns of Sicily and Southern Italy to its later migration to the shores of the United States, the Mafia’s rich history, octopus-like reach, and well deserved monolithic reputation has been one of the greatest phenomena the world has ever known. The public has been breathlessly captivated by images of The Godfather, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, On the Waterfront, and countless other mob classics over the decades. A few of these films depicted “The Life” somewhat accurately. But most of them either unrealistically romanticized or needlessly criticized complex multilayered men who were indoctrinated with a unique, rarely understood mentality.
Our hope is that as you explore the Button Guys of The New York Mafia library, you will gain a rare new insight and intimate information about many of the mafiosi and racketeers you have read about for decades and learn about many of their little-known rank-and-file soldiers and associates that were the very backbone of Cosa Nostra – not only in New York but also throughout the country.”
I was born and raised in New York City and have spent my entire life here – a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker who considers the city my personal stomping grounds.
I’m a full-blooded Italian born into a very old-fashioned family. Close relatives of mine on both sides were “connected” guys. Growing up, I also developed close friendships and associations with many knock-around guys – notorious fellows you’ve all read about, no doubt.
Several years ago, I decided to create the Button Guys of The New York Mafia website about organized crime history in the United States. One of my main goals was to clear up many of the misconceptions the public has about the Mafia and “The Life.” With a mystique all its own, the Mafia has been repeatedly studied and marveled at for well over a century now. Cosa Nostra is a shadowy organization that few people ever truly understood – and even fewer have ever really experienced – to enable them to give a well-informed, unbiased opinion.
Side note: I don’t write about current “reputed” mob figures. I don’t put guys on front street. That’s not my way. To me, that’s the same as being a rat – I just wasn’t brought up that way. Only after a guy has passed on or is long retired, and I know that my words cannot hurt him or others still living, will I then write his biography as I’ve known it accordingly. But not until then!
Lisa Babick is the designer, co-publisher/founder, and contributor to the Button Guys of the New York Mafia website. She also manages all of this website’s social media. In addition, she is the creator, producer, and voice behind Mob Fireside Chat where we bring the stories from the pages of Button Guys of The New York Mafia to life.
Lisa is a journalist with over 30 years of experience in print and digital media, public relations, and marketing. She has been published in Gang Land News and holds a B.A. in Marketing Communications.
You can contact The Other Guy or Lisa Babick via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails are kept confidential.