Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld Paperback – April 7, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Amazon Significant Seven, April 2008: In McMafia, Misha Glenny draws the dark map that lies on the other side of Tom Friedman's bright flat world. That connected globe not only brings software coders and supply-chain outsourcers closer together; it's also opened the gates to a criminal network of unsettling vastness, complexity, and efficiency that represents a fifth of the earth's economy, trading in everything from untaxed cigarettes and the usual narcotics to human lives and nuclear material. Glenny's a Balkans expert, and he begins his story there, with the illicit--but often state-sponsored--underworld that grew out of the post-Soviet chaos, but he soon follows the contraband everywhere from Mumbai and Johannesburg to rural Colombia and the U.S. suburbs. It's not just a hodgepodge of scare clips, though: Glenny reports from the ground but follows the leads as high as they go, showing how the dark and bright sides of the flat world are more connected than we imagine. --Tom Nissley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Former BBC World correspondent Glenny (The Balkans, 1804–1999) presents a riveting and chilling journey through the myriad criminal syndicates flourishing in our increasingly globalized world, which make up as much as 20% of global GNP. Tracing the growth of organized crime—ranging from the burgeoning sex trade in volatile, postcommunist Bulgaria to elaborate Internet frauds in Nigeria—Glenny expertly combines interviews with key players, economic studies and sociological analysis. He argues that the chaos and political upheaval following the demise of communism in Eastern Europe, along with increasing demand in the West and the easy flow of money and people provided the perfect opportunity for organized crime to gain a foothold on the dark side of the globalizing economy. Glenny's achievement is in introducing readers to the less familiar aspects of global crime, from Kazakhstan's caviar mafia to the flourishing marijuana trade in British Columbia. Consequently, his interview subjects are equally varied: sex slaves in Tel Aviv, a co-conspirator in the deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings and top Washington policy makers share the pages. Readers yearning for a deeper understanding of the real-life, international counterparts to The Sopranos need look no further than Glenny's engrossing study. 16 pages of photos; maps. 100,000announced first printing. (Apr. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
_McMafia_ hops around the world, Glenny gives pictures of a huge, more-or-less well organized crime network routinely allied with governments (efficient and inefficient governments, not just governments that are our friends or our enemies), police, and corporations. The book is often uncomfortable reading, as in the tale of a woman from Moldavia who was sent against her will to be on call at an Israeli brothel, manhandled by Moldavians, Ukrainians, Russians, Egyptians, and Bedouins before the Israelis could get their hands on her. The mafia in Chechnya was so ruthless and feared that it made money allowing criminal rackets in other towns to call themselves "Chechen". If those licensees did not themselves ferociously prosecute local violations of protection, the Chechen mafia would come after the racketeers themselves, so that the brand name did not get devalued. Oligarchs and mobsters from Russia united to make worldwide launderettes for cleaning cash from growing and exporting drugs. Glenny shows how to buy contraband gasoline in Serbia, counterfeit DVDs in China, or illegal caviar in Kazakhstan. He rides with marijuana smugglers from British Columbia, describes being propositioned in sex clubs in Dubai, or tells how pachinko fiends in Tokyo feed their habit. Glenny interviews a member of the famous _yakuza_, Japan's traditional mafia, who says, "Like all organizations we are facing problems encouraging young people to join." Well, it's just a management problem: the _yakuza_ subcontract their mob hits to Chinese gangs.
Sometimes _McMafia_ is scattershot in its jumps all over the globe, but the big picture is perhaps just too complicated for anyone to understand fully. Glenny knows he is writing about scary and dark subjects, but there are a few points of light. There are academics who have done sociological studies on gangs and gang members, some even joining to get data. One of them says, however, "Scholars do not like to waste time with uncooperative sources who refuse to talk, and, alternatively, they do not like to be shot." There is a small organization called Global Witness, which had documented the human suffering in the African diamond trade and has arranged a protocol to assure buyers that diamonds come from sources that meet humane standards. David Soares is the District Attorney in Albany, New York, who has realized that his state is wasting millions to arrest and keep in prison drug offenders from a futile war on drugs, and was elected with a view of changing drug laws. According to Glenny, this sort of change is going to be essential if the disheartening global picture he presents is ever to change. The United Nations reports that 70% of the financing of organized crime comes from the sorts of international drug sales described here. Forced eradication is not going to work, despite the billions that is spent on it; a more prudent and less costly policy would be some legalization of the drug trade and provision of treatment for drug abuse. There are few other recommendations in Glenny's book, other than a sensible call for stricter international regulation of current financial markets to end the untraceable flow of criminal funds. It might be that the world is realizing that the unregulated trade and finance that was supposed to bring us all prosperity is more contributing to the world's misery instead. The reforms can happen, or it can all be left to the gangsters.
The stories in this book are mind-blowing not just in the creative ways that international criminals get around legalities and quickly learn to exploit the latest laws and technology, but also because they are so widespread and so injurious to what we have come to respect as a normal, ordered civilized and moral existence. Organized international criminals are resourceful, intelligent and intent on colonizing the world with a new set of decadent values. A new "Criminal world order is already deep in the making.
In most of the rest of the world, a reliance on an underground economy is an existential imperative (in post-Communist Russia, for instance, Nigeria, or Albania and indeed most of the poorer countries in the Middle East). The King of the underground economy, whether in the first or the third world is drugs: The West seems to be the carriers of a disease that makes drugs a necessity, and the rest of the world is all too anxious to apply a remedy for us.
But even if drugs were shutdown completely there is still trafficking in pirated goods, in humans, mostly young women being forced to go from poorer to more advanced countries; and now also computer and identity thefts.
What to do? While the UN has shown an interest in "trafficking in humans," has had the issue on its agenda for a number of years, the larger phenomenon of international organized crime is too large even for that international body to get its hands around: Misha Glinny has seen the future and given us a glimpse into it, and it is very dark indeed.
An outstanding read. Five stars