Faculty / Mark Haller

I received a Ph.D. in American History at the University of Wisconsin in 1959. For the next nine years I taught general social science courses at the University of Chicgo while publishing my dissertation as : Eugencis: Hereditarian Attitudes in American Thought (1963). My research then switched to a study of "illegal enterprise" in American cities, including various kinds of gambling, bootlegging of the 1920s, prostitution, and loansharking. I continued these studies when I took a position at Temple University in 1968. In the 1970s I gained complete access to the raw intelligence files of the Capone income tax investigation and established that the picture of him as a "boss" of a bootlegging operation, as found in the media and scholarly works, was largely mythical. In 1990 I was offered complete access to all of the intelligence files of the Pennslvania Crime Commission and found that the standard picture of so-called "mafia" organizations in the U.S. fails to understand the structure and functions of such operations. Basically, over the years, I have tried to understand the economics of illegal enterprise and show how such activities both reflect and influence the history of ethnic groups, urban geography, professional sports, popular culture, changing technology, and other social factors.