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The New Ethnic Mob: The Changing Face of Organized Crime in America

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The New Ethnic Mobs tells the story of the blood-drenched 1980s when the crack wars introduced an anarchy that had not been seen in the underworld since before Prohibition. Jamaican gangs known as "posses" murdered 1,400 people in less than five years in their battle to control the crack trade in cities across the country. Kleinknecht details how the ethnic gang wars of the 1980s closely paralleled those of the 1920s, another era when several ethnic groups battled for criminal supremacy. He also explains the ...
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New Hardcover with dust cover. Author: William Kleinknecht. Copyright: 1996. pp. 328. Tells of the mobs of today and how they differ from the Italian Mafia. This book is called, ... " The most comprehensive study of the underworld in decades. " We ship daily with tracking! 100% Guarantee on all products. Hardcover with dust cover. Pages crisp, clean, unmarked. Binding and pages tight. Shelf wear to cover. #6A. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The New Ethnic Mobs tells the story of the blood-drenched 1980s when the crack wars introduced an anarchy that had not been seen in the underworld since before Prohibition. Jamaican gangs known as "posses" murdered 1,400 people in less than five years in their battle to control the crack trade in cities across the country. Kleinknecht details how the ethnic gang wars of the 1980s closely paralleled those of the 1920s, another era when several ethnic groups battled for criminal supremacy. He also explains the lucrative operations that the new ethnic crime groups conduct in the 1990s. While they still operate traditional rackets like gambling, loansharking, and extortion, they also commit sophisticated white-collar crimes that victimize an unsuspecting public. Credit card rates have been driven up by the multimillion-dollar frauds perpetrated by Chinese crime groups, while fuel-tax evasion schemes engineered by Russian mobs have cost federal taxpayers billions of dollars. Vietnamese gangs in California specialize in computer chip theft, Medicaid fraud, and other high-tech crimes. But this is also a book about the future. It marshals compelling evidence that the twenty-first century will confront a global crime syndicate in which overseas groups like the Colombian cartels, the Hong Kong triads, and the Russian and Sicilian Mafia will join in pillaging the United States and Europe.

Once the Mafia ruled uncontested over the American criminal underworld. Now, however, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Cuban, Arabic, Black, and other ethnic gangs have moved in, making organized crime more dangerous--and more lucrative--than ever before. This book introduces readers to this frightening world and the colorful criminals who populate it. 20 photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Newark [N.J.] Star-Ledger crime reporter Kleinknecht, after reviewing the history of the Italian Mafia and pointing out that notices of its demise are premature, turns his sights on the newcomers to the field. Although his account of the Cosa Nostra doesn't offer many new revelations, it is apparent that he has done his homework on the Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Hispanics, blacks and Russians. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each ethnic group, ranging from the lack of permanent leadership among African-Americans to the career-criminal backgrounds of many Russians and Cubans. He is not optimistic about the future but expresses the hope that some city will try to legalize heroin and cocaine, since law enforcement isn't winning the drug war. An impressive survey. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Joe Collins
Kleinknecht gives a necessary caveat at the start of his book: his discussion of criminals deals only with a small portion of each ethnic community. No longer is the Mob limited to those of Italian descent; in fact, the proliferation of black, Jewish, Chinese, Latino, Russian, and even Vietnamese gangs lends an air of omnipresence to these mini-Mafias. The new ethnic mobs have been on the rise since about the 1970s, with many of the newer Asian and Cuban gangs grabbing for a piece of the lucrative narcotics pie during the last decade or so. Kleinknecht's hard-nosed prose highlights the gritty world of these mobs and their battles for supremacy with one another and with old-time Mob families, whose traditional stranglehold on organized crime saw its death knell when boss John Gotti was convicted; interestingly, though, Kleinknecht's book points out that a vacuum will always be filled, especially a criminal one.
Kirkus Reviews
The new "ethnic crime groups" that make up organized crime in America today perpetrate "more violence and a greater societal cost than that wrought by the old Italian-American Mafia," writes Kleinknecht, a Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger crime reporter.

While he cautions the reader "not to mistake this work for an argument against immigration," Kleinknecht does note that immigrant "multiethnic armies . . . are behind the epidemic of drugs, guns, and violence that has engulfed our nation's cities." Today's gangster is Chinese, Cuban, Russian, African-American, Dominican, Jamaican, Haitian, and so on, and he cites examples from each group. He does a marvelously concise job of relating the history of ethnic organized crime, in particular the Italian families that rose to prominence during Prohibition, the turn-of- the-century Jewish gangs of New York City's Lower East Side, and the Irish Plug Uglies and Whyos of the mid-19th century. But his central concern is the rising dominance and sophistication of Chinese, Hispanic, and black gangs. He traces the growth in the 1980s of Chinese and other Asian gangs, such as the Wah Ching and the Joe Boys of San Francisco's Chinatown and the infamous Born to Kill gang of New York, led by David Thai, a Vietnamese refugee. Black gangsters are best exemplified by the notoriously vicious Chambers Brothers of Detroit, who built a crack empire while still in their 20s. Though black gangs are omnipresent at the street level, Kleinknecht notes that in spite of the publicity given the Crips and the Bloods, they have yet to control "a broad range of criminal activities" on a nationwide scale. He also looks at Miami's José Miguel Battle, a little-known "gambling kingpin" worth over $175 million, with alleged ties to the CIA and the Mafia.

A cautionary, incisive work that appeals to federal authorities to beware these crime groups' "increasing propensity for joining forces."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684822945
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/1996
  • Pages: 328
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.09 (d)

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