Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Feb 15, 2005 - History - 468 pages
48 Reviews

Here is the shocking true saga of the Irish American mob, from the mid-nineteenth century all the way to the present day. History shows that the heritage of the Irish American gangster was established in America long before that of the more widely portrayed Italian American mafioso, and has held strong through the modern age. In fact, the highest-ranking organized crime figure on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List -- alongside Osama bin Laden -- is not a wiseguy, a Latin King, or a gangbanging Blood or Crip, but an old-style Irish American mob boss from South Boston.

In Paddy Whacked, bestselling 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 from Hell's Kitchen; and James "Whitey" Bulger, the ruthless and untouchable Southie legend. This is an epic story of corrupt politics, wanton murders, gambling empires, notorious brothels, tough women, and hard-drinking pugilists from the underbelly of America's most dangerous cities -- including New York, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

Combining storytelling verve with thorough research and a slew of never-before-published material -- including new interviews with former gang members -- English presents a riveting, seamless cultural history of the Irish American underworld. He offers a brilliant portrait of a people who fought tooth and nail for a better life from the moment they arrived in America, whether it meant taking charge within the realms of law enforcement and politics -- from Tammany Hall to the White House -- or capitalizing on what opportunities they could in the darker world beyond the law. Paddy Whacked is an irresistible tour of the undercarriage of our history -- a ride that stretches from the earliest New York and New Orleans street wars through decades of bootlegging scams, union strikes, gang wars, and FBI investigations ... and along the way deepens our understanding of the American experience.

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Review: Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

A well research work on an interesting subject. Still, the author never seemed to elevate the work above the level of a dry litany portraying a pantheon of Irish gangsters. Read full review

Review: Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster

User Review  - Bobby - Goodreads

Ingloriously epic Read full review

References to this book

About the author (2005)

T.J. English is the New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Westies, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. His screenwriting credits include TV episodes of NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. He lives in New York City.

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