The first world-wide history of international gangs. James Morton starts with the turn of the century. He looks at the influential gangs and families such as the Five Families of New York, the Purple Gang from Detroit, Cleveland's Mayfield Road Gang, Boston's Winter Hill Gang and the Dixie Mafia. He also examines the careers of some of America's lesser known but highly successful luminaries such as the Pillow Gang from St Louis, whose leader always carried a cushion after being shot in the buttocks.
World-wide, Morton looks at a while range of gangs, large and small, such as the Green Gang of Shanghai, Rocco Perri of Toronto and the Zemour brothers in France, before turning to the rise of the South American drug cartels, the Russian Mafia, the Tongs and the Triads, the big Circle Boys and the Yakusa.
An unforgettable range of mobsters includes, of course, Capone, Dillinger, Lansky and Luciano, but also Slippers Incerto, so-called because his feet froze during a raid on a still in Colorado; Squizzy Taylor, the Australian Larrikin; the fearsome Dubois brothers of Montreal, and literally thousands more.