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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"This is an intense, erudite yet sometimes horrifying account of violent Celtic criminals who make the Dead End Kids look like choirboys." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

East coast gangland history.

If you enjoy history and gangland stories you will love this. From 'Gangs of New York' to Hoffa and Booger. It is all here. Especially with regard to Irish gangsters.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing

One of the best. Informational but captivating storyline which traces the Irish mob from its origin up to recent times

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book. T.J English is the man

David Colacci nailed it!! Irishman were tough bastard's, gritty to the core. Makes me want to research my roots.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Paddy Whacked

This was overall a great book full of fascinating facts on US underworld history. The only reason I did not give it full stars was it took a bit to get going and a tad long. But again, history is not always exciting, still a must have book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bad. Really, really bad.

after chapter 8 this book becomes unbearably boring. I gave up around chapter 21. bummed I wasted my money.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

First Half - 4 Stars - Second Half - 2 Stars

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

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing

captivating history of a line of history, often misunderstood. I highly recommend this great compilation!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Informative, and very interesting

I think the author did a really good job explaining the entire person of all of the more important characters. I was able to empathize with them on a human level, and understand why people would be loyal to them, but the author never made the gangsters, political bosses, and hitman seem innocent. He shows them as the dynamic, and ruthless people that they are/were.

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Excellent history of Irish America

Well written and narrated. Much more than a mafia-type crime book. This story is well researched and provides the historical backdrop for a bloody period in America.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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"Family" History Lesson

Would you listen to Paddy Whacked again? Why?

Yep.

Why? Turns out it's a lesson in my own family history.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narration was great, overall.

I'm not sure I could call anything about the narration "compelling" It's a historical book, it shouldn't be a dramatic reading.

Mr. Colacci nailed it all the way around.

He didn't try to "act out" the characters, he gave them simple uncomplicated voices. His cadence is great, easy to stay with, not grating nor feeling rushed. If he did happen to throw and accent into a character he didn't over do it, make them sound cartoonish and when he did use an accent, it was perfect pitched.

Any additional comments?

I have always been enthralled with the "down and dirty, nitty gritty" people who really settled and shaped this country and you can't ignore the fact that many of our large cities were built on the blood money and crooked grit of organized criminal activities and not just the Italian immigrants who brought the old country over to the US with them.

I'm in my late 50's and I grew up hearing stories about a certain "Cork County clan" in my family tree, when I spotted this book available on Audible I knew I had to give it a listen.

It never occurred to me there might be a historical account of these people I heard about as a kid, to me it was just family telling family lore.

I live in the are NOLA area, moved here a couple of years ago so I know the areas that are mentioned in the book quite well.

I have also lived near Chicago, still have family there and visit often and again, know the neighborhoods mentioned. It was a bit of a mind trip...to go back in time via the authors words to the areas I know now and spend a lot of time in

The book is a great insight into "life back then" and the blood money and crooked grit that shaped this country.