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McMafia: Crime without Frontiers Hardcover – 3 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd; First Edition First Impression edition (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224075039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224075039
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Required Reading' -- The Times

'To be regarded as one of the essential non-fiction works of our time. Exhaustively researched and reported, it's sobering in the extreme, but also riveting, filled with exotic locations, staggering facts, acts of incredible brutality and colourful, if deadly, characters.... Anyone with even the smallest interest in how the world really works should read this book' -- GQ

'excellent book.. a terrifying dissection of the world in which we live - or rather its, for the most part, hidden underbelly' -- Evening Standard

`Eye-opening examination of international crime and its consequences' -- Sunday Times

`Like a journalistic Indiana Jones he has travelled the world in search of his prey, displaying impressive stamina, intellectual chutzpah and physical bravery on the way... This is the most important non-fiction book of the year so far' -- Mail on Sunday

`Misha Glenny made his reputation as a BBC reporter during the break-up of the Soviet empire and in the Balkan wars. Those experiences introduced him to the murky, bloody, terrifyingly successful operations of the East European mafias, dominated by Russians. For this book, Glenny has extended his researches worldwide. He describes gang operations in Bombay, sex slavery and money-laundering in Israel, the Canadian marijuana trade, Nigerian investment scams, Brazilian cyber-crime and much else. His message is that the global marketplace has empowered criminals on a huge and terrifying scale.... He tells a grisly story very well' -- Sunday Times Culture

`This is a well sustained narrative dealing seamlessly, if dismayingly, with the tricks, motives and rewards of the new global underworld'
-- Independent on Sunday

"This is a well sustained narrative dealing seamlessly, if dismayingly, with the tricks, motives and rewards of the new global underworld and the impotence of governments in tackling it successfully" -- Cal McCrystal, Independent on Sunday

`Beg, buy or borrow a copy - just don't steal it'
-- Word Magazine

`it is a substantial book that features, among a gallery of extraordinary crime scenes, some of the most compelling analyses of the Balkan tragedy and the creation of a post-Soviet economy' -- The Observer

About the Author

Misha Glenny is a distinguished journalist and historian. As the Central Europe Correspondent first for The Guardian and then for the BBC, he chronicled the collapse of communism and the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He has won several major awards for his work, including the Sony Gold Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. The author of three books on Eastern Europe and the Balkans, he has been regularly consulted by the US and European governments on major policy issues and ran an NGO for three years, assisting with the reconstruction of Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. He now lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. T. Baxter VINE VOICE on 3 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
Living in a 'nice', law abiding country like the UK it's easy to be ignorant of, or turn a blind eye to the darker side of life that most people on earth have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

My wife is Russian and her family lived through the collapse of the USSR and the period they refer to as 'The Lawless Times' in the early 90s. Speaking to them about it brings home just how tough you had to be to survive back then, and it's no surprise that some people rose to the top to fill the vaccuum left when the forces of law and order collapsed.

Tough people took what they could, weaker people suffered - along with their families. We're now living with the consequences of this collapse and the following rise of criminal gangs to the size multi-national corporations.

This book covers much more than the collapse of the communist states, and shows how the networks of criminality have linked up across continents and become powerful, sophisticated money making machines that thrive on the suffering of others.

Eye opening and a little frightening, this book will change your perspective on the world and will help you understand how the 'nice' countries like ours are the ones that have made these enormous empires possible through things like our demand for recreational drugs and sex with foreign prostitutes.

very well written and highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim VINE VOICE on 22 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In McMafia, Misha Glenny meets some of the underworld's villains and scammers and puts a human face to the vast conspiracies which we hear so much about, but ultimately know so little. He is an entertaining, affable guide, a meticulous researcher and, it would appear, a brave journalist. He writes with candour, incisiveness and occasional humour. This is a very different work to his books on the Balkans, but the skills that made them such good books are much in the evidence here as well.

Glenny takes us on a world tour of global crime: from the insidious backstreets of the ex-Soviet bloc, where James Bond-esque baddies lurk in every corner, to Nigeria, Brazil, Japan and China. Although the chapter titles - such as `The Future of Organised Crime' - suggest a thematic approach, it is more geographic than that, which actually makes it all the more readable.

My only problems are with the title - which suggests that the global underworld somehow replicates himself everywhere and is anodyne for it, when Glenny shows that it is not - and the lack of over-arching hypothesis - this isn't a book about the globalisation of crime, we are told at the end, when the preceding 400 pages would suggest that it is.

But as part travelogue, part social history this is nevertheless an excellent read. It is an urgent, compelling book, which I read over only a couple of days and would recommend to anyone with the vaguest interest in organised crime.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bloodsimple on 11 Jun 2008
Format: Hardcover
This a frightening but fascinating book, which brings together the keen-eyed journalism Glenny displayed in the 1990s, with a tale of the kind of organised crime that touches us all, whether we know it or not.

Glenny tours the world, and wisely does not try his hand at thriller-writing as he does so. The stories, and their contexts, are fascinating enough to be simply laid out before us. In each case, the most compelling parts are the history and analysis of how that kind of crime took off, in that place and that time. While there are undercurrents that are common throughout, what stands out starkly are the location and era-specific details of the conditions that allow major crime to flourish. I would have liked to have seen something more about how these national and international crime groups link together; however, given the amount of detail at his disposal, perhaps the author is saving this for his next book.

The level of detail is impressive, and the sources authoritative. Glenny has managed to bring in a tremendous amount of information, without leaving the reader feeling swamped and overwhelmed. The book should be compulsory reading for anyone aspiring to senior levels of government. Because what strikes this reader, is how in each case the myopia, stupidity, connivance and outright greed of governments have created the conditions for organised crime to grow and thrive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
Misha Glenny delves deep into organised crime in this study of a post cold-war, globalised world. Indepth and at times utterly fascinating this book covers a wide blanket of criminals from the Balkans to India, from Colombia to Russia and beyond.
However the linkage between each criminal group is not evident and there is not a significant coherant argument concerning globalisation. On one hand he appears to advocate the legalisation of all drugs whilst on the other going into great detail concerning tobacco smuggling and counterfeiting and the negative effects this causes.
The pace is at times frantic and it is sometimes hard to keep up with the various names of individuals and groups which at times gives the book a disjointed feel.
However overall this is an incredibly well researched, valuable modern social history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By 1895 on 31 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An eye-opening look at how the globalisation of organised crime effects day-to-day life-whether we like it or not.

The timing of the liberalistion of the international financial markets and the coincidental collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe and the USSR means that the face of crime has changed for ever.

And as the author points out, so long as the profits are so big and demands for illegal products so high, no amount of policing can ever stamp it out. In fact, the more resources poured in to the "War on Crime", the bigger organised crime becomes......
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