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The Gangs of Birmingham by [Gooderson, Philip]
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The Gangs of Birmingham Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 976 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Milo Books Ltd (8 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00500N4EO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,033 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Firstly I have to say that I find the book interesting but for me it reads a bit like a catalogue. It is well documented but it seems narrative is taken from a record of court cases around the period of interest. Apart from the entries there seems to have been little research done or angles provided on the whys and wherefores regarding the events.
I know there are limitations with regard to quoting historical records, and as to how much more information might be available, but without a little background or imagination the events are described for precisely what they are: a chronological list of happenings.
For me this type of book works far better with far fewer individual stories containing much more detail on each one.

Sorry, I hate to give such flat reviews but I hope the author can, or has, come up with more spice for subsequent books. Mac Fletcher
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this item for a present for somebody who loves reading these type of books. He thought it was absolutely great!!
Seller despatched item very efficiently and would highly recommend this seller. Thank you.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought it as a research book to explore the background of gangs and especially the Peaky Blinders. Recommend it for anyone interested in Birmingham 1850 to 1900 - definitely the Wild West of the UK.
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