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Gangs of Birmingham, The Paperback – 29 Jun 2010

74 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

Gangs of Birmingham, The + The Real Peaky Blinders: Billy Kimber, the Birmingham Gang and the Racecourse Wars of the 1920s + Peaky Blinders - Series 1-2 [DVD] [2013]
Price For All Three: £41.12

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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: MILO BOOKS (29 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903854881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903854884
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A fascinating new book that shines a light on the murky world of Victorian youth crime in Birmingham.' --Sunday Mercury, Birmingham

About the Author

Philip Gooderson, M.A., Ph.D., is a retired schoolmaster and local historian with a special interest in the history of Victorian street gangs. He is the author of two previous non-fiction books.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Poetry Lover on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this Kindle version purely out of interest following the excellent BBC series, Peaky Blinders. Being a Brummie, I have great interest in anything to do with Birmingham, its people and its history.
The Kindle version has no illustrations and I assume the printed version has some photographs and maps as there are references to these in the text. So it is all text, and not very well formatted at that; it seems the Kindle version may have been a little rushed and nobody bothered to check the text.
The book consists of a series of short descriptions, stories, transcripts, snippets, court and police records of all kinds of actual events, criminality, most associated with gang crime in Birmingham, and a few snippets from other regions, that mainly took place during the latter thirty years of the 19th century. They are linked in loose but interesting ways by Mr Gooderson’s additional descriptions, notes and comments.
Much of the basics I already knew, common history, but there were a few twists and surprises, such as the antagonism towards David Lloyd George on the city streets, which, surprisingly, I hadn’t known about.
All in all, this is an easy read and if your interest is factual, historical crime – not fiction – much of it violent, pathetic and petty, in and around Britain’s second city then this is worth a couple of pound. If not, then don’t bother – it’s not a Peaky Blinder of a book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Pedro on 14 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a graphic piece of social evidence from an era that was tough and when times were undoubtably hard, it is written about Englands second city during a period of massive economic growth, but it highlights a much darker side of the city's history, taken from factual newspaper reports & legal documents, that highlight what could possibly be the earliest form of youth culture known to the UK.
The violent problems in the city would be looked at by the rest of the country in the same way as football violence used to be seen as the 'English disease' by the rest of the world...almost a 'Birmingham disease', Birmingham was a place that was to be avoided becuase of the social problems.
It highlights the slogging gangs of Birmingham that would battle with enemy gangs resulting in injury or even death, it highlights the difficulty of the police force, a force plagued with alocoholism due to the fact the men were under constant physical attack from unappreciative and suspicious Brummies who detested anyone 'who turned copper' or 'grass' as it would be known now.
The book tracks gangs of thieves, well known hard men of the time and details the main men or leaders of the gangs. It highlights in detail the problems between the English and Irish communities in the cheapside and digbeth areas, an area to this day that is locally known as 'the Irish' part of the city. It highlights major violent flashpoints in the city's history.
But the book at the same time describes a vastly changing landscape, of local districts becoming a city, and at a time when young men were working in the thousands of trades that would see Birmingham flourish.
It is a must for anyone that is mistaken into thinking that youth culture, and the violence that goes with it, is a modern day phenomenom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jax Head on 30 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very dull and overdetailed, I feel as if I've been reading the same bit over and over and not made progress. Expected better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Sever on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok but too repetitive passages too much the same . Was a book that you could quite easily put down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. H. Prottey on 9 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great service but the book is utter Rubbish each Chapter is a repeat of the previous one...........Thought i was in for a great read.......Don't waste your money
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By Steveg on 12 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Wife and I both came from the areas of the Gangs which encompassed Nechells and Duddeston. My Church, St. Joseph's, got TWO mentions! Could relate to the areas totally. The Kindle version was purchased, just disappointed that there were no maps. Not sure if "paper version" includes the maps. CANNOT WAIT FOR SERIES TWO OF PEAKY BLINDERS!!!
On a personal note, another book continuing on from the finish of this one, would bring the historical line into the period of my Grandfather who lived off Summer Lane, Birmingham.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although at the time of writing I am only half way through the tome, it is making for a fascinating read about the seamier side of the city. The first half of the book concentrates on the ne'er do wells of the 19th century and the rivalries between the various groups and also the conflicts between between the Brummies and the Irish immigrants of the time. I downloaded this book on the strength of the TV serial "Peaky Blinders" and I'm looking forward to a later chapter on the very subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debbs on 6 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disappointing after enjoying the Peaky Blinders on TV
Most of the stories of incidents repeat themselves
Very hard to keep reading
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