Sunday, March 20, 2016

Book Review: Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster by T. J. English, Barnes & Noble, Inc. 2013, 468 pages.

Oh Danny Boy, the gats, the gats are firing. Car bomb to bomb across the land...

Originally published in 2005 written by acclaimed crime historian and re-published by the famous book chain, T. J. English takes us from glen to glen, by the hand through the underworld; the other underworld that walked side by side with la cosa nostra. An underworld that traditionally was used by Italian Mafia as muscle.

While the Italians grabbed all the headlines the Irish spilled buckets of blood. From the Five Points New York gang wars starting around 1849 to the almost mythic exploits of Boston's Whitey Bulger; this is a thorough study of real crime in brutally real time.

'Whacked' is the operative word and Irish gangs were well armed with both lethal and ingenious means. The Cleveland bombings of the 1970s are one clear example. This gang war rivaled that of the strife gripping Northern Ireland at the same time.

Crimes were even conducted in this country to aid the cause of the Irish Republican Army and before you break out the Robin Hood theme, well hold your suds...

Rat extermination certainly weighs heavy in much of the muck. Informants in any gang will collect a rather strong response much akin to the stench of a dead fish in newspaper. Which is why the legend of Whitey Bulger will astonish.

And so will the collection of photos; crime scene hits and mug shots that will delight any 'crimeophile'.

Hey look I invented a word.

Hey look the Westies are coming----HIDE!!!!

Buy this before I have someone named Mickey light the candles on your birthday cake.


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