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With Where the Bodies Were Buried, New York Times best-selling author T.J. English completes his unprecedented non-fiction trilogy of books that cover – collectively — the full sweep of the Irish Mob in America.

From the era of the Irish Potato Famine in the late 19th Century, through the Prohibition years, right up to and including the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger in Boston, the Irish Mob held sway. The Irish Mob Trilogy lays bare this epic saga and presents a staggering cast of strivers, hoodlums and crime fighters. The three books that constitute the trilogy – The Westies (1990) Paddy Whacked (2005) and Where the Bodies Were Buried (2015) – represent a major literary accomplishment, and also happen to be entertaining as hell.

The story begins in the Five Points, in lower Manhattan, where destitute exiles from the Great Famine formed the earliest street gangs. These gangs partook of the various criminal rackets of their day – illegal gambling, thievery, prostitution, and extortion – but they also laid the groundwork for a criminal structure that was to become deeply embedded in the world of politics. Political organizations such as Tammany Hall utilized the financial bounty from criminal rackets and brute force to elect politicians and advocate for those represented by "the Tiger," as the organization was known.

This intermingling of underworld commerce, American capitalism and politics would become the foundation for what is now referred to as "organized crime."

Prohibition was the hey day for the Irish American gangster, not only in New York but across the nation in New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, Kansas City, and other municipalities. The Irish Mob became a force in the arenas of labor, politics, law enforcement, and gangsterism. At times, Irish mobsters worked in consort with the Mafia and other underworld factions; at other times, they were in competition with the Italians. This volatile and bloody sub-narrative to American history is referred to by T.J. English as "the war between the dagos and micks," with a body count that surpasses many wars.

Through the Depression, the post-war years of the 1940s and 1950s, and right into the latter decades of the 20th Century, the story of the Irish mob remained largely a hidden history until author English devoted the better part of twenty-five years to uncoiling this yarn. His trilogy brings the story into modern times, through the especially violent era of the last Irish Mob in New York — The Westies — and the infamous story of Whitey Bulger in Boston, which English chronicles through an account of the trial that brought Whitey down, and in so doing signaled the end of a criminal tradition that had lasted more than a century.

The Irish Mob Trilogy by T.J. English stands as the most complete exploration of this history ever presented by an author, historian or storyteller.

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For more than two decades, through non-fiction books and journalism, author T.J. ENGLISH has chronicled the American underworld. Starting with his debut book, THE WESTIES, and subsequent best sellers PADDY WHACKED, HAVANA NOCTURNE, THE SAVAGE CITY, and WHERE THE BODIES WERE BURIED, English's work has captivated audiences and charted new territory. His latest book, THE CORPORATION, is an account of the Cuban American underworld, and once again top notch reporting and masterful story telling are on display. Readers expect nothing less from T.J. English, who, as an author, has practically created his own genre of underworld crime as social history. A former New York City taxi driver, English brings a rare combination to bear on his work: a feel for the streets but also rigorous research and scholarship, so that his books feel intimate and personal but also comprehensive and definitive. They reveal the Big Picture, and also tell the little stories within the Big Picture. Leading historian and author Luc Sante (LOW LIFE) has declared T.J. English "one of the great reporters of our time."

A Sequel to HAVANA NOCTURNE (Sort Of)

The Corporation cover


After T.J. English published Havana Nocturne in 2008, the question the author often heard from readers was, ‘So what happened next? What happened after U.S. and Cuban mobsters were chased out of Cuba by Fidel Castro’s revolution?’ The answer, in part, is to be found in T.J. English’s new book, The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld.

Three years in the making, The Corporation tells the story of Jose Miguel Battle and the criminal empire he created. The story begins with Battle’s involvement in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, in which a brigade of Cuban Americans attempts to take back Cuba from the Castro regime. The brigade is betrayed by the U.S. government, and the men wind up being killed or imprisoned.

After being released from prison in Cuba, Battle joins the U.S. Army and, later, forms a criminal organization based on the illegal lottery, or numbers racket, what Latinos call ‘boiita.’ The rest, as they say, is history, excitingly rendered in the latest true-life crime masterpiece from T.J. English.

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An EPIC Story of The Cuban American Underworld

In the pantheon of American Mob bosses, Jose Miguel Battle ranks as one of the most charismatic and brutal. Some believed that he was a great leader and a man with a big heart. Others feared him, and for good reason. He killed one of his closest associates with his own hands, shooting him right between the eyes. The organization he led – the Corporation – was known for its brutality. Set against the larger framework of Cuban exile politics and the violent efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro and take back Cuba, it’s no wonder that The Corporation is already in development as a major motion picture, with Benicio Del Toro set to play Battle.

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Dangerous Rhythms Latin Jazz Series in NYC

As a lover of Latin Jazz music, T.J. English is curating and hosting a series of shows at Zinc Jazz Club in NYC. The series is designed to showcase some of the best contemporary Latin Jazz musicians now playing in the U.S.

Latin Jazz is a combination of Afro Cuban music – and other musical influences from Africa, the Caribbean and South America – combined with Jazz, the great American musical art form. English has even created a recording label called DANGEROUS RHYTHMS to further showcase the music and musicians whose work he most admires. The music series at Zinc, located in the storied jazz neighborhood of Greenwich Village, will be on Thursday nights.

Dangerous Rhythms Latin Jazz Explosion
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T.J. English at the Goodfellas 25th Anniversary Panel

The gangster movie Goodfellas recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary, and in honor of this occasion writer T.J. English moderated an all-star panel discussion about the film at the prestigious 92nd Street Y in New York City. On the panel were: Nicholas Pileggi, who authored the book the movie was based on and also co-wrote the screenplay with director Martin Scorsese; legendary producer Irwin Winkler (Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, etc.), who produced Goodfellas; and Edward McDonald, the former federal prosecutor who plays himself in the movie. The discussion, memorialized on video in its entirety, is lively and full of inside info about the making of this classic film. Enjoy!

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Blank on Black Presents: Martin Scorsese On Framing

The legendary film director MARTIN SCORSESE was interviewed by T.J. English in 1990, shortly before the release of Goodfellas, his classic gangster movie. The interview – conducted for a profile that appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine – was far reaching. To say English was a student of Scorsese’s work would be an understatement. He has said that the early works of Scorsese – Who’s That Knocking At My Door, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver – were part of the reason he came to NYC in the first place. You can read the original article that this clip came form at the following link:
Read it Here

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Blank On Blank Presents: Bill Murray On Being Obnoxious

T.J. English interviewed actor BILL MURRAY in October 1988 for Irish America Magazine. That interview recently resurfaced in a wonderful animated "episode" created by Blank on Blank, a web creator that uses archival interviews with significant historical figures in the arts, politics and letters as the basis for inventive animated short videos. 'Bill Murray On Being Obnoxious' has now gone viral, with nearly 500,000 views on Youtube.