©2008 Misha Glenny; (P)2008 Books on Tape
"Former BBC World correspondent Glenny presents a riveting and chilling journey through the myriad criminal syndicates flourishing in our increasingly globalized world....Readers yearning for a deeper understanding of the real-life, international counterparts to The Sopranos need look no further than Glenny's engrossing study." (Publishers Weekly)
Misha Glenny, in McMAfia, provides a general overview of the rise of organized crime over the past twenty years. She covers every point of the globe, inserting historical background, economic context, and sociological insights. The book will be an eye opener to those who have yet to be introduced to the dark side as Glenny presents it. The book is well written, very informative and aptly read by John Lee.
Other books available through Audible which I have heard and which flesh out topics covered by Glenny might be of additional interest.
The Informant by Kurt Eichewald - an abridgement telling the story of one person's experience as a whistle blower and the ADM price fixing scandle.
Ivory Ghosts - The story of the ivory trade historically and in contemporary context.
Snakehead - the smuggling of undocumented native Chinese from Fujian province into New York city in the 1980s and 1990s.
Havana Nocturne - English's tale of the mob in pre-Castro Cuba.
Gomorrah - Saviano's gripping account of Naples and the rule of the Cammora crime network. Don't miss this one.
Murder City - Charles Bowden - the decay of Ciudad Juarez and mob activity.
This is a well-written, exhaustively-reported book that takes you in-depth to all parts of global organized crime. I found the section on the Balkans and Russia to be particularly enlightening, not just about the mafia but also in how Glenny explains the overall history of these regions through the lens of lawlessness. I feel like I finally understand what a Russian oligarch actually is.
If anything, the book gets a bit dull towards the end due to the repetiveness of each national history. The same story seems to unfold everywhere, but I only really got bored in the book's final sections.
mostly nonfiction listener
Did you know that organized crime is responsible for an estimated 15 to 20% of the world GDP (counting tax evasion)? Or that narcotics accounts for about 70% of criminal profits, with energy, guns, prostitution, and gambling making up the bulk of the rest? I didn't know any of this - and I'm not sure I'll be able to think about "the economy" ever again in the same way. Written by a journalist, but with an insiders perspective and a novelists sense of character and pacing, McMafia is one of the best books I read in 2008.
It started off as an impressive investigative work. Reader's accent adds personality to characters and author's interviews and personal accounts are quite interesting. However, the second part of the unabridged audiobook ends up on a seemingly irrelevant rant about the United States government being corrupt, incompetent, racist and outright combative towards other countries and their treatment of drug offenses.
While I disagree, I think the author is more than entitled to express his views about the United States and any of its policies that he takes issue with, but not in a book about organized crime (Unless it directly relates to the material, which in this case, it did not).
After spending 2 credits and being very excited about listening to this piece, I found myself annoyed at the fact that 1 of those credits was entirely wasted.
Another reviewer suggested some other organized crime audiobooks which I will be purchasing, I suggest you do the same and pick up a cheap copy of this book on amazon so you can stop reading when all the nonsense starts and only spend a fraction of what I spent.
He added great character to the many different personalities explored.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
I thought this would be a great way to understand global politics. Instead it is chock full of characters and places that are not explained in a simply way. Perhaps I am not intelligent enough to follow this seemingly endless unwinding of globalization since the fall of the Berlin wall. John Lee is a great narrator,but the topic is too depressing and confusing to the lay person to bring out his brilliance. I gave up at chapter 4 and asked for a refund. Give this one a pass;unless you are already steeped in global politics thoroughly.
Intriguing, scary, enraged
Made me mad at how the world stands by and lets criminals crap on the innocent
A brilliant book by a brilliant writer. He tackles an extremely important subject and brings to light how the globalization of criminal enterprise may affect the rule of law everywhere. Very well written and is a must read.
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