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The Gangs of Birmingham From the Sloggers to the Peaky Blinders Paperback – 29 Jun 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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  • The Real Peaky Blinders: Billy Kimber, the Birmingham Gang and the Racecourse Wars of the 1920s
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  • Peaky Blinders - the true story. The real story of the Birmingham gang that inspired the tv series.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: MILO BOOKS; 1st Edition edition (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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,140 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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting historical record of how gangs developed over the years, would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the history of Birmingham and the surrounding areas.
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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
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: 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
Ok but too repetitive passages too much the same . Was a book that you could quite easily put down
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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: 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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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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