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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld » User review

Good worldwide overview of global crime, marred by author's biases

  • May 16, 2008
Rating:
+3
Misha Glenny took on a great task in attempting to provide an overview of organized crime around the world. On the whole, he does a good job in describing the nature of organized crime in various countries. Glenny makes it clear that virtually every nation has organized crime and that it is intertwined to one degree or another with government. This incestuous relationship is not news; rather the news is the growing scale of organized crime.

The subject matter of each chapter (a different nation or kind of crime, i.e., drug trade) is interesting, but Glenny'a verbiosity and penchant for smothering the reader in minute detail rob the book of true vibrancy. Reading it, I found, was a bit of a slog.

Where Glenny fails is in allowing his own political views to color his narrative. Glenny's hostility to the United States and, particularly, its current administration is palpable - and obnoxious. His remedy to the problem of world wide crime comes from the left: more global governance. His comment that "organized crime aand corruption will combine with protectionism and chauvinism to engender a very unstable and very dangerous world" is almost laughable. The world's mechanism for "global governance" for the past sixty years, the United Nations, has proven itself to be very corrupt, chauvinistic, protective of its own ever expanding mandate and an abetter of crime among even worse sins.

The intelligent and sophisticated reader will easily filter out Glenny's politics and appreciate "McMafia" for what it is: a reasonably competent, if wordy, overview of organized crime around the world. In that regard it is well done. I would say it is frightening, but the truth is that this kind of crime and its love-hate relationship with government has always existed. It is more the scale that has changed than anything else.

Jerry

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April 16, 2011
Good review, Jerry. You included an important aspect of the book that I omitted from my review, and that is the collusion of governments with organized crime. That's one of the things that made the book particularly interesting, and scary.
 
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More McMafia: A Journey Through the... reviews
review by . April 16, 2011
A real eye-opener
   I've read a good deal about globalization, but never realized how the same trends that underlie trade and consumption and for some, wealth generation, were also supporting a horrific, criminal system that reaches all parts of the world. Former BBC reporter Misha Glenny provides a chilling overview of the many types of illegal activities that are facilitated by globalization, including sex trafficking, drug smuggling, trading in endangered species and even human slavery, to name …
About the reviewer
Jerry Saperstein ()
Ranked #205
I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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Wiki

Amazon Significant Seven, April 2008: InMcMafia, Misha Glenny draws the dark map that lies on the other side of Tom Friedman'sbright 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 aBalkans 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
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Details

ISBN-10: 1400044111
ISBN-13: 978-1400044115
Author: Misha Glenny
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Knopf
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