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Boston Mob Guide, The:: Hit Men, Hoodlums & Hideouts Paperback – October 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beverly Ford is a Boston-based journalist and author who has spent more than twenty years as a reporter and freelance writer for the Boston Herald, the New York Daily News, the London Times, the London Mirror, Access Magazine, Bloomberg News and other publications. She has written about mob murders and court trials involving several people profiled in this book. She currently works as a freelance investigative journalist for the New England Center for Investigative Journalism. She has ghostwritten two books, including a 1991 book on the Kennedy family, and also authored a book on domestic violence in 2001 for Information. She was among several reporters awarded the 1991 Associated Press Spot News Award for team coverage of a train accident and received awards in 1991 and 1995 for juvenile justice reporting from Parents of Murdered Children. She was also a guest panelist at a 2009 Neiman Foundation series at Harvard University and has lectured on crime and breaking news coverage at Boston-area colleges and universities.

Stephanie Schorow is a Boston-based freelance writer, author, teacher and artist. She is the author of The Crime of the Century: How the Brink's Robbers Stole Millions and the Hearts of Boston; East of Boston: Notes from the Harbor Islands (The History Press, 2008); Boston on Fire: A History of Fires and Firefighting in Boston; and The Cocoanut Grove Fire. She was the editor of Boston's Fire Trail: A Walk Through the City's Fire and Firefighting History (The History Press, 2007). She has spent thirty years working for various news organizations, including the Boston Herald, the TAB chain, the Stamford Advocate and the Associated Press. She currently works as a freelancer for the Boston Globe and teaches writing at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She is working on her next book on Boston's drinking history.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609494202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609494209
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on December 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mobsters are still folk heroes to many of citizens of Boston and nearby communities. The Somerville Public Library, the site where one of the book launching parties for this book was held on a cold mid-December night attracted a standing room only and overflow audience of people who were fascinated with the mobsters included in this new book by Beverly Ford and Stephanie Schorow. And in many instances, the audience knew some of the book's main characters personally. (Please enjoy some photos from the party included in the customer images of this Amazon book-listing site.)
The book goes back in history to the Prohibition Era that provided the profits for organized crime as well as local gangs. Bootlegger Charles "King" Solomon, who was mentioned in the recent Ken Burns mini-series "Prohibition," "was called `King' for a good reason---there was little in Boston in the 1920s and early 1930s that Charles Solomon didn't control or have a hand in, even while he managed to stay a step ahead of the law. He was the uber boss of the Boston rackets, a Russian Jewish immigrant who made enough money to retire, but couldn't give up the street life. From rum running to dope peddling to prostitution, from night clubs to theaters, his was an empire both illegal and legit...His last utterance has been reported to have been `The rats got me,' as well as:
"The dirty rats got me," or, "Those dirty rats--got me." Solomon had been robbed in the public bathroom of "The Cotton Club" on Tremont Street (he was probably a part owner) of the $4,600 in cash he was carrying and "shot four times in the chest, abdomen and neck." He lived long enough to stagger out and say his final words, but died later at the hospital.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey S Czarnec on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a cursory view of a few of the players culled from the local news..there is certainly more to the actors behind the brief stories.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bret Kramer on March 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not as comprehensive a guide as the blub makes out. Information on organize crime before the 30s is sparse and in places the authors do not seem to have done much research beyond their core interest in the Winter Hill gang era. The worst example is when discussing the fate of one of the surviving members of the Gustin Gang. He's arrested and put on trial, then the authors says "like the gang he fades from the record". What was the result of the trial? What verdict was reached? If only there was some record of trials in the 30s that one might consult, a paper where news was recorded... or if only the government kept records of criminal trials that a writer might examine...

If all you care about is Whitey Bulger and his clique, this will probably fit the bill. If you're curious about anything else, not nearly as much.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charley Polachi on May 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
nothing new here, not worth the purchase. poorly written rehash of old news from public sources like the Boston Globe
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T.Stefan on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
any person who has been around the crime seen in Boston
would find this "Guide"very weak.
a real waste of money.
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Format: Paperback
This book serves very well as a quick reference book to a good number of Boston crime figures. That said, the section on all mob figures combined is about as large as the content on Whitey Bulger. There are a million books on Bulger at this point. If you want to write a book on him, that's fine, but call it "Whitey and other Boston Mobsters," not "The Boston Mob Guide." There are two pages on Charles Solomon - arguably the most powerful mob boss in Boston's history.

The sources are also kind of shotty. There aren't many secondaries, and one of them is a Howie Carr book. Not exactly top notch research.
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A high level look at organized crime groups in the Boston area and the people who run and participated in them. The sheer amount of violence involved in this book is some what disturbing but you get a good look at how organized crime functions. The violence is not presented in a gory way still the amount of it and the whole organized crime picture is presented starkly if you take the time to think about it. Anyone interested in understanding organized crime should read the book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RJ McDonnell on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Matt Damon recently told GQ that he would be teaming up with Ben Affleck to do a film about Whitely Bulger. Shortly thereafter, Mark Wahlberg announced that he hoped to secure exclusive rights to the story from Bulger. If you're the kind of person who loves to be out in front of major news and Hollywood stories, The Boston Mob Guide by Beverly Ford and Stephanie Schorow is an absolute "Must Read."

Not only does the book cover a detailed account of Whitey's Greatest Hits, it also puts his life into context by giving a biography of all of the major players in the New England organized crime scene. Some set the stage for Whitey's lifestyle as founding members of local mobs. Others served as partners in crime, while others were his enemies. The book's alphabetical bio section makes it easy to reference a wealth of interesting facts about these colorful characters.

If you're planning a trip to the area, The Boston Mob Guide also includes specific details on favorite hangouts, hideouts, hits and heists. If the pictures aren't enough for you, exact addresses are included.

The final chapter talks about area mobsters in the movies. Comparisons to the upcoming films will undoubtedly abound.

As Whitey Bulger's case comes to trial, and the Hollywood circus hits the multiplex with a star-studded double feature, I'll be the go-to guy in my circle of friends. If you thought The Godfather series and Scarface made for interesting conversations, I strongly recommend gearing up for the real thing by reading The Boston Mob Guide.
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