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Running with the Devil: The True Story Of The Atf's Infiltration Of The Hells Angels Paperback – September 24, 2008

67 customer reviews

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Running with the Devil: The True Story Of The Atf's Infiltration Of The Hells Angels + No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels + Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs
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Editorial Reviews

Review


“A page-turner that reads more like spy fiction than an exposé.”
―IronWorks magazine
“An outstanding read. . . . I could not put it down.”
―Mark Bennett, United States District Court Judge, Northern District of Iowa
“Fascinating, fast-paced . . . hypnotic. . . . The author’s command of detail and characters captures the reader’s imagination and mystifies.”
―Ruth Stevenson, Professor of English, Union College

From the Back Cover

NOW IN PAPERBACK―
AS SEEN ON AMERICA’S MOST WANTED
AND ANDERSON COOPER 360°
The infamous Sonny Barger once declared that the Hells Angels would never be infiltrated. Running with the Devil chronicles the story of the ATF sting that proved him wrong and the two undercover agents who risked their lives in the process. For two years, the agents posed as members of a Mexican renegade motorcycle club, earning the trust and respect of the vicious Arizona Hells Angels.
Their work led to the shocking 2003 bust in which ATF agents arrested fifty people and seized 650 guns, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 100 explosive items―including grenades and napalm.

Writing in cooperation with ATF agents, most of whom remain undercover today, Kerrie Droban follows the perilous mission up through the ensuing court case and jail sentences. Along the way, she provides a startling―and unprecedented―exposé on the treacherous inner workings of the Hells Angels brotherhood.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; Second Printing edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599214490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599214498
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kerrie M. Droban is an award winning author and criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. A graduate of The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and the University of Arizona, she studied playwriting with Edward Albee and poetry with Peter Sacks, Carolyn Kizer and Joy Harjo. Her collection of poems entitled, The Language of Butchers, earned numerous awards including the Academy of American Poets Award, the New Letters International Poetry Award, the Poet Lore Award and the Amelia Encore Award. Additionally, Droban's true crime Running with Devil: The True Story of the ATF's Infiltration of the Hells Angels and Prodigal Father Pagan Son: Growing Up Inside the Dangerous World of the Pagans Motorcycle Gang has received critical acclaim and earned the 2008 and 2011 USA Book News National Book Award for Best True Crime and Best Autobiography. Kerrie has appeared on national television in A & E's Gangland: Behind Enemy Lines and numerous local television and radio shows as an emerging expert on motorcycle gangs and the pathology of the criminal mind.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By marquez on June 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
there are a number of fairly recent books on the topic of outlaw bikers, and in this mix, this book is just so-so. the story itself is pretty fascinating, considering a group of atf agents were able to infiltrate the hells angels mc, but the actual telling of it is pretty lackluster. this reader immediately drew comparisons to billy queen's 'under and alone' which describes his infilitration of another motorcycle club.

queen's telling, however, was a gripping FIRST-PERSON account and the personal experience is noticeably absent from droban's story. and while she makes efforts to paint scenes in an effort to give the reader context, they feel embellished, flowery, and insincere in places. in many ways, it doesn't feel as if the author is well-versed in her subject matter and is just discovering the culture herself. her entire chapter detailing an upcoming confrontation with arguably the largest mc in the world, only to consistently mispell their name, is almost unforgiveable. it certainly lacks an air of credibility on the author's part.

one thing that i thought was interesting though, is that this book was written by a woman, and as such, there are more curiosities in what goes on quietly in the women's world of the 1%er culture. at least more so than i've seen in other books. unfortunately, the same voice seems to fall a bit soft when describing a testosterone-on-overdrive culture. and while this isn't a criticism on point of view, it IS a criticism of tone.

still, this book tells more of the story of operation black biscuit than 'angels of death', so the curious will still get something out of it. if you're just looking for something to read in the category and don't know where to start, i'd probably recommend queen's 'under and alone' first.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Pathological Reader on December 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
You could wear out a highlighter if you highlighted all of the ridiculous errors in this book

Author says that Bullhead City is across the river from Las Vegas. Technically correct, but:

36 miles downstream

Vegas is miles from the river

Bullhead is across the river from Laughlin

The shootout between the HA and the Mongols happened at the Laughlin Harrahs, not the Las Vegas Harrahs.

"prospect and sponsor are used interchangeably". No. The sponsor is a patch holder who vouches for the prospect, the prospect intends to be a patch holder.

If you can't believe the simple, easy to check lies presented as facts, how can you believe anything presented as fact?
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Nick Barkley on July 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure I should order this book after I read the reviews. But, I did and overall it was a good book. Yes, it does have some errors, like calling the Nazi Low Riders a biker gang. (They are a white, prison based street gang) But, those are few and forgivable.

The book does a good job of showing the difficulty in running what by its' nature has to be a mostly, "Seat of the pants," operation with the strings being controlled by a huge Goverment agency. Not a recipe for success, but the agents in Operation Black Biscuit did the best they could with what they had. The book did a good job of showing this to the reader.

I have a unique perspective on the biker subculture, crime, and society in that I was raised around bikers and biker gangs, yet today I am a 20 year Law Enforcement veteran. I have seen those bikers that lived the life, but actually were good people. But, most I met were out to take what they could get, as cheap as they could, even if someone else was victimized. This book showed that, even when the "victim" was another gang/club member. What a way to treat, I mean "honor" a fellow member.

In the end Operation Black Biscuit did not get the type of convictions you would think. And, many in the biker subculture are quick to point this out. I would like to have seen more info in the book on the who, what, when, where and why that happened. The popular answer is because of over zealous, sloppy, power happy Goverment agents and the agencies they represent. But, the answer is not that easy. The answer lies in the fabric of our society itself, in that how do you play by the rules established in the name of fairness in order to take down those who claim to not play by our rules. Just once, we should do it according to their rules.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Linda S. Andrews on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm the first to admit that I'm not a fan of true crime but the subject and the setting of Running with the Devil made it a must read for me. From the first page to the last, the fast paced writing kept me reading. The information gleaned from interviews of those actually involved with the operation (unlike so many other books covering the same subject) added depth and tension so often missing in true crime. The actions of the ATF agents gave the plot twists than the most engaging fiction. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Staudacher on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book details the ATF's extensive attempt to infiltrate the Hells Angels. The operation put the undercover agents through hell and produced nothing. The agents discovered that the Hells Angels displayed far more loyalty and genuine caring for them than their supervisors did. The operation was poorly run and poorly planned. Millions of dollars of taxpayer's money spent with no results. This book does provide a limited "insider's" view of the Hells Angels, but provides a better illustration of federal law enforcement's paranoia and obsession with biker clubs.
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