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The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
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The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob

4.3 26
by T. J. English
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Must reading…will shock even the most hardened readers.” —Playboy

“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

“Masterfully told, gracefully written…the true story of the most violent men this nation has ever seen. Al Capone would have cringed…you want to cheer at he end…The Westies will blow you away.” —Edna Buchanan, author of The Corpse Had a Familiar Face

“Must reading… an investigative story about contract killers for the Mafia that will shock even the most hardened reader.” —Playboy

“A disquieting look at a worthwhile subject: the frailties of justice in the big city.” —The New York Times

“Stunning…a graphic account of brutality in search of power and money.” —Ocala Star Banner

“A fascinating, frightening account of how bad kids turned worse, and how the worst one, finally turned good.” —Booklist

“A fascinating look into an Irish American criminal enterprise that may not have rivaled the Mafia in sophistication, but certainly surpassed it in terror.” —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

“Both compelling and unsettling…it's also chilling. You'll have a hard time putting it down.” —Rocky Mountain News

“A great yarn--English writes with a controlled lushness. He provides the detail of a detective's notebook.” —Anniston Star

“Pure enjoyment…if you want to read a book about the ‘Irish Mafia,' this is it.” —Vermont Standard

“A harrowing account of big city crime.” —Library Journal

“Potent…what English has done is take organized crime as it really evolves and occurs on a human scale and then builds it back into an engrossing narrative. His book will stand.” —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

“As exciting as E.L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate…the hardest part is trying to remember this isn't a novel; it's real.” —Arkansas Gazette

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312362843
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/31/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
119,230
Product dimensions:
5.57(w) x 8.18(h) x 1.15(d)

Meet the Author

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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Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
PR_Scholar More than 1 year ago
This is a very readable account of some of the criminal aspects of New York City's Irish Mob. The Chronology near the beginning is a bit hard to follow but the overall book is quite captivating. If you are interested in the criminal history of NYC or are interested in Criminal Organization such as the Mafia or the Irish Mob, then this is a great account of things that the groups were capable of doing. It is suprisingly accurate however many people don't consider it to be historically accurate because the information was gathered from a man who did not have a consistent bearing on dates and the such. It is still an amazing incite into the Organized Crime of NYC in the past decades.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the same version on 'The Westies' that has been in print since the the early 1990's but with a new afterword that updates the whereabouts of some characteres, especially the main character of Mickey Featherstone. Maybe the best book about a gang ever written. Still powerful. Why has there never been a movie made from this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not knowing much about the Irish mob I was fascinated and captivated throughout. Great storytelling, good pacing, and a dizzying amount if details that sheds light into an underwirld most people forget/refuse to acknowledge exists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was born, raised and still live in Hell's Kitchen. Thats exactly how it was. If you weren't from here or you weren't good friends with someone from here you were not safe. There are still some westies here (3 blocks over from me are a few), listening to their stories in person is even more intense and captavating. Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW. If you don't have the stomach for blood and guts...not the book for you. Detailed and gory account of the Westies and the rise and fall of Jimmy Coonan and his gang. I could not believe a person could dismember a body, laugh about it, and then go eat! Cold blooded killers. I would highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!
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KAF More than 1 year ago
The Westies is a tale that could only happen in New York. It is a wonderfully frightening look into the realities of the mafia and their destructive lifestyle. The Westies takes you inside the minds of the Irish mobsters that rose to power and ran within Hells Kitchen for two decades. It is a stunning portrait of the personalities that collaborated to create the notorious Westies Mafia. The Westies is an adventurous wild ride that will be hard to put down, but be warned it is not for the easily offended, or weak stomached.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This story, about the Irish Mob from Hells kitchen, is detailed about the murders that were commited. It was a great book and I can't put it down some days. There are some parts that are a little boring and it does tell the story out of sequence (which can be confusing esp. with all the people mentioned) but for the most part, I can't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! Growing up in NYC I never knew that this actually occured blocks from where I lived. This book was impossible to put down. Half way through it, I had to stop and do some research to see if this stuff really happened...and it did. A must read for the true crime buff and the Irish American historian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good read the author kept it real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many gangster books and I liked this one the best. These were not the most powerful or smartest gangsters in the world but they were possibly the most dangerous. I gave the book to some friends and family who aren't too interested in crime but they enjoyed the book as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book about a time when the Irish of New York's Hells Kitchen made the Italian Five Familys recognize just how powerfull and crazy they were and what they were able to accomplish. Thiller of a book, if you are a fan of organized crime, buy this book, it will not disappoint you. Learn that there is more to organized crime than just the Italians and New York's 5 Familys. Mickey Featherstone is as ruthless of a killer as you can get, and Jimmy and Jackie Coonan are trying to keep their territory and yet expand with the help of La Cosa Nostra. Great read and an eye opener of sorts concerning Irish organized crime in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first gangster book I ever read. Since finishing this book, I have read many gangster books and none have been better than The Westies. It is very hard to put down. It describes many operations in gangs that other books expect you to already know. If you're looking for gory gang life to the extreme, it's here.