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The Westies Inside New York's Irish Mob

T. J. English

St. Martin's Griffin

0312362846

9780312362843

Trade Paperback

416 Pages

$16.99

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Even among the Mob, the Westies were feared. Starting with a partnership between two sadistic thugs, Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone, the gang rose out of the inferno of Hell’s Kitchen, a decaying tenderloin slice of New York City’s West Side. They became the most notorious gang in the history of organized crime, excelling in extortion, numbers running, loan sharking, and drug peddling. Upping the ante on depravity, their specialty was execution by dismemberment. Though never numbering more than a dozen members, their reign lasted for almost twenty years—until their own violent natures got the best of them, precipitating a downfall that would become as infamous as their notorious ascension into the annals of crime.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Westies

"Sterling social history . . . the author's skillful reporting makes the most of his subject."—The New Yorker
 
"Raw, earthy and heavily flavored with New York vernacular . . . [T.J. English] knows the people he writes about and never sets himself above them."—San Francisco Chronicle
 
"A fascinating look into an Irish American criminal enterprise that may not have rivaled the Mafia in sophistication, but certainly surpassed it in terror."—The Wall Street Journal
 
"A fast-moving tale of criminal corruption in which, for a change, the good guys win . . . English pulls no punches."—L.A. Daily News
 
"English has . . . taken organized crime as it really evolves and occurs on a human scale and then built it back into an engrossing narrative."—Irish America Magazine
 
"Reminiscent of Poe and Dostoyevsky in subject and character . . . at times as jolting as running on concrete on a cold winter morning."—New York Newsday

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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T.J. ENGLISH is a noted journalist, screenwriter and author of four books, including Paddy Whacked, Born to Kill (which was nominated for an Edgar Award), and the upcoming The Havana Mob. His first book, The Westies (a national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book), launched his career as an expert on the multi-ethnic nature of organized crime in America. A former writer for Irish America Magazine, English has also been published in Esquire, Playboy and New York magazine. He lives in New York City.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • T. J. English

  • T.J. English is a noted journalist, screenwriter and author of four books, including Paddy Whacked, Born to Kill (which was nominated for an Edgar Award), and the upcoming The Havana Mob. His first book, The Westies (a national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book), launched his career as an expert on the multi-ethnic nature of organized crime in America. A former writer for Irish America Magazine, English has also been published in Esquire, Playboy and New York magazine. He lives in New York City.
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