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Hells Angels at War Mass Market Paperback – 2004

13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins; First Thus edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006394949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006394945
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,596,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Here again LaVigne takes on the Hells Angels, and as with his other works the author's bias shines as bright and clear as the sun. In describing the recent war between Scandinavian chapters of Hells Angels and the Bandidos, and other conflicts between the clubs, he portrays the Hells Angels as cunning, calculating and devious adversaries to police, the civilian population at large, and other motorcycle clubs; but he downplays the Bandidos' role in the violence. Not surprising, considering how proud he seems to be to have had his picture taken with national officers, including the national president, of the Bandido Nation at Sturgis. Many times the author's writing style relies heavily on what seems to be quotes from newspaper stories covering various biker conflicts, which, in itself, becomes very tedious. LaVigne's journalistic ego never seems tire in telling the reader how he's traveled to this and that country as an expert in "motorcycle gang" politics and tactics advising various governments and police departments on how to handle this "problem." He also is quite proud of his theory that the Hells Angels all along have planned to and will absorb the Bandidos MC; how the Hells Angels bitter enemies in Canada, the Rock Machine Motorcycle Club will never become Bandidos; predicting this will all come to pass; etc. He continually states this WILL happen. Well, for all of LaVigne's "expertise," he is wrong: The Rock Machine just became a probationary part of the Bandido Nation, and it's now just a matter of time before they are fully accepted into the fold. This, and other misinformation, is indeed is a reflection of the author's inadequacy in the field of journalism. His hatred of the Hells Angels Motorcycle club clouds any sense of objective reporting on the subject.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Hubec on March 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
A very thorough investigation into the bikers, the police, and the public. This book is something of a big deal up here in Canada because the upper rungs of the RCMP were embarassed by it revealing their sometimes reprehensible strategies. The RCMP brass reacted by coming down hard on the officer who leaked the information to LaVigne. Really a sad story because the officer is highly decorated and leaked the information only because he was fed up with being stifled in his pursuit of the bikers. Of course the main focus of the book is the bikers. It certainly shows illegal biker gang members for what they are; career criminals who will do anything for more money and power.
On the down side the book can be tedious. It largly consists of a frank description of events. More of an attempt should have been made to identify the important people and tell their specific stories throught the book. Instead what we tend to get is a constant stream of seemingly unrelated events.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Here again LaVigne takes on the Hells Angels, and as with his other works the author's bias shines as bright and clear as the sun. In describing the recent war between Scandinavian chapters of Hells Angels and the Bandidos, and other conflicts between the clubs, he portrays the Hells Angels as cunning, calculating and devious adversaries to police, the civilian population at large, and other motorcycle clubs; but he downplays the Bandidos' role in the violence. Not surprising, considering how proud he seems to be to have had his picture taken with national officers, including the national president, of the Bandido Nation at Sturgis. Many times the author's writing style relies heavily on what seems to be quotes from newspaper stories covering various biker conflicts, which, in itself, becomes very tedious. LaVigne's journalistic ego never seems tire in telling the reader how he's traveled to this and that country as an expert in "motorcycle gang" politics and tactics advising various governments and police departments on how to handle this "problem." He also is quite proud of his theory that the Hells Angels all along have planned to and will absorb the Bandidos MC; how the Hells Angels bitter enemies in Canada, the Rock Machine Motorcycle Club will never become Bandidos; predicting this will all come to pass; etc. He continually states this WILL happen. Well, for all of LaVigne's "expertise," he is wrong: The Rock Machine just became a probationary part of the Bandido Nation, and it's now just a matter of time before they are fully accepted into the fold. This, and other misinformation, is indeed is a reflection of the author's inadequacy in the field of journalism. His hatred of the Hells Angels Motorcycle club clouds any sense of objective reporting on the subject.
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By Debra Purdy Kong on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Hells Angels have been around a long time. The general consensus is that they're a nasty bunch, and author Yves Lavigne takes great pains to demonstrate why through many pages describing bomb attacks, arrests, and trials. Although this is his third book about the Hells Angels, it's the first one I've read. The focus here is on the Angels' battle with other gangs for domination and with the police.

Lavigne's work is extremely detailed. Many names and dates are provided and by page 40, I'm thinking yeah, I get the picture: war, blood, death, arrests, media spins, police incompetence, and so on, yet the info continues for many more pages. His points about the Angels' ruthlessness and how the police botched opportunities to shut the Angels down before they became so strong is mentioned numerous times throughout the book. Newspaper articles and interviews are reprinted when short excerpts would have sufficed.

When Lavigne included 50 pages of excerpts from minutes of Hells Angels meetings near the end of this 458 page book (broken up by a few photos), I groaned at first, but the minutes proved to be hilarious in places. Where else would you find board meetings granting permission for members to send greeting cards to other charters? Although nothing is ever mentioned about criminal activity in the minutes, there is a great deal mentioned about club rules. Clearly, the Hells Angels are better organized (although mired in their own bureaucracy) and smarter than society or the police acknowledge. If you're interested in the gang culture then you'll find the book insightful.
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