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Operation Underworld

Matthew Black

Warwick’s, in partnership with Coronado Public Library, presents
Matthew Black

Operation Underworld

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 7:00pm PST

Coronado Public Library - Winn Room
640 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
Operation Underworld
Reserve Seats Here

This event is free and open to the public, subject to available space. Guaranteed Preferred Seating is available with purchase of OPERATION UNDERGROUND through the green "Reserve Seats Here" button above.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is free and open to the public; free admittance is subject to available space. Limited open seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure seating, we encourage you to pre-order one book per seat through Warwick’s for everyone in your party.

  • Free open seating is first-come, first-served, subject to available space.
  • Guaranteed Preferred Seat holders will receive a copy of Matthew Black's book when they check in. Guaranteed seating is unnumbered and first-come, first-served.
  • Please call the Warwick's Book Department at 858-454-0347 for more information.

On Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00pm Warwick's, in partnership with Coronado Public Library, will host Matthew Black as he discusses and signs his new book, Operation Underworld: How the Mafia and U.S. Government Teamed Up to Win World War II. Matthew Black is a labor and crime historian who was recruited by James P. Hoffa's office in 2016 to author Dave Beck - A Teamsters Life. Black has also worked as a staff writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune and has written articles for Alaska Airlines magazine. He has published dozens of articles on, where he has individually brought some 42 million readers to his work. Born and raised in Seattle, he is a graduate of the University of Washington with an honors degree in history. While he travels the country and the world at a feverish pace in search of stories, he calls San Diego home, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

In 1942, a rational fear was mounting that New York Harbor was vulnerable to sabotage. If the waterfront was infested with German and Italian agents then the U.S. Navy needed a recourse just as insidious to secure it.
Naval intelligence officer, Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden had the solution: recruit as his own spies, members of La Cosa Nostra. Pier to pier, no one terrified the longshoremen, stevedores, shopkeepers, and boat captains along the harbor better than the Mafia gangs of New York, who controlled the docks in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Haffenden was prepared to make a deal with the devil–the man who put “organized” into organized crime. Even from his cell in Dannemora State Prison, former Public Enemy #1, Charles “Lucky” Luciano still had tremendous power. Luciano was willing to wield it for Haffenden. But he wanted something in return—Luciano’s contacts in Italy to track the Nazis’ movements.
Operation Underworld is a tale of espionage and crime like no other, the unbelievable, first-ever account of the Allied war effort’s clandestine coalition between the Mafia and the U.S. Government to protect New York, vanquish the Nazis by taking the fight to the enemy in the 1943 U.S. invasion of Sicily. It was an ingenious strategy carried out by some of history’s most infamous, improbable, and unsung heroes on both sides of the law. It was a Faustian bargain that brought homefront enemies together but, as journalist and crime historian Matthew Black reveals, one that ultimately succeeded in helping the Allies win World War II.

Operation Underworld: How the Mafia and U.S. Government Teamed Up to Win World War II By Matthew Black Cover Image
ISBN: 9780806542157
Availability: Usually Ships From Store in 3-5 Business Days
Published: Citadel - December 27th, 2022