Here is the shocking true saga of the Irish American mob.
In Paddy Whacked, best-selling author and organized crime expert T. J. English brings to life nearly two centuries of Irish American gangsterism, which spawned such unforgettable characters as Mike "King Mike" McDonald, Chicago's subterranean godfather; Big Bill Dwyer, New York's most notorious rumrunner during Prohibition; Mickey Featherstone, troubled Vietnam vet turned Westies gang leader; and James "Whitey" Bulger, the ruthless and seemingly untouchable Southie legend. Stretching from the earliest New York and New Orleans street wars through decades of bootlegging scams, union strikes, gang wars, and FBI investigations, Paddy Whacked is a riveting tour de force that restores the Irish American gangster to his rightful preeminent place in our criminal history and penetrates to the heart of the American experience.
©2005 T. J. English (P)2016 Tantor
"This is an intense, erudite yet sometimes horrifying account of violent Celtic criminals who make the Dead End Kids look like choirboys." (Publishers Weekly)
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I am evidently one of the few people not fascinated by organized crime. I see nothing romantic about gangsters or their activities and think that celebrating it in writing just encourages people to emulate essentially ugly and violent people. Plus I typically find most stories about organized crime raciest and bigoted. If I came from one of the ethnic groups typically maligned in these books I would be insulted.
That said, this book was recommend to me primarily because the recommender thought it shared some Irish history I would find interesting. And I did. The first half of the book deals with Irish immigration to the US and some of the forces that led this group of immigrants to become disproportionately involved in organized crime - masquerading as politics. The author presented colorful characters that are often caricatured, as flesh and bone people.
The later half of the book deals with prohibition, the rise of the Italian organized crime families and more recent Irish criminals. I did not care for this half of the book
Jeremy S. Williams
One of the best. Informational but captivating storyline which traces the Irish mob from its origin up to recent times
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