The Godfather Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Godfather.
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Organized Crime

Mario Puzo has said that he wrote The Godfather as a compendium of tales about criminals that he heard while growing up in Hell's Kitchen, an Italian section of New York City, along with information that he gleaned from research. Fans of the book often try to guess which real-life incidents served as Puzo's inspirations, but in fact much imagination has gone into transmuting history into fiction.

Like Vito Corleone, many of the most powerful figures in American organized crime at the middle of the twentieth century had made their fortunes during Prohibition, smuggling liquor into the country. In 1920, the production and consumption of alcohol was prohibited by the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment. There was still a great need for alcohol, and America had a prospering economy during the 1920s, and so it became a lucrative business to smuggle liquor in from Canada, Mexico, and...

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This section contains 1,037 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Godfather Study Guide
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The Godfather from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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