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Villains' Paradise: A History of Britain's Underworld [Paperback]

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Item description for Villains' Paradise: A History of Britain's Underworld by Donald Thomas...

"Thomas has excelled himself. An important and riveting study in social history, it also has a very pertinent relevance in the crime-riddled society that is Britain today."-The Sunday Times (London)

"A magnificent book. Beautifully written, utterly compelling: almost without fault in every respect."-The Literary Review

Venturing into the urban underbelly of postwar Britain, and especially of London, this riveting true-crime chronicle explores the shadowy ganglands where for twenty-five years armed robbery, prostitution, vice, and drugs flourished under racketeer kings.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   506
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.38 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2006
Publisher   Pegasus Books
ISBN  1933648171  
ISBN13  9781933648170  

Availability  0 units.

More About Donald Thomas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald Thomashas published forty books, including poetry, fiction, biography, and true crime. A stage-play based on his workThe Return of Sherlock Holmes, was recently produced in Wales. His biography of Robert Browning was short-listed for the Whitbread Award and he received The Gregory Award from T. S. Eliot personally for his poetry collectionPoints of Contact.The Execution of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes and the King's Evil and Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly are all available from Pegasus Books. He lives in Bath.

Donald Thomas was born in 1946.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
2Books > Subjects > History > World > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > True Stories > True Crime

Reviews - What do customers think about Villains' Paradise: A History of Britain's Underworld?

Donald Thomas' book is a good read for anyone interested in the history of British crime. From the petty criminals to the organized gangs, it's all here in gritty, vivid detail. In the day's before HI-TECH spy cameras and electronic detectors, your average British thief had a somewhat easy time of it. A chance for a "cuppa" in between the break-ins and wage snatches. Of particular interest in the book, is the section that charts the creation of the "spiv" or black marketeer during WWII and after. You see unlike everyone else,the British people suffered under food and other shortages right into 1954. No wonder crime flourished in the Kingdom, just to be able to get some sugar and chocolate if nothing else.

Infamous gangs like the Kray's and Richardson's are included. Police corruption, oh yes even in good old blighty is fully exposed. Prostitution and pornography, illegal gambling, art thefts and frauds, there's something for everyone here. Not just the criminal perspective but the social and economic one as well. It was a time when the police really knew the criminals. When safe blowers and getaway drivers took pride in their work and usually surrendered quietly when caught. It was clubs and pickaxe handles rather than guns. A code or understanding between the good guys and the bad guys. Unlike today, where the real master criminals are all highly calculated and corporate.

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