Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tongs, Gangs and Triads available in Bulgaria.

I ran across this while ego searching. It seems "Tongs, Gangs and Triads" is now available in Bulgaria. Will wonders never cease.

Personally, I think it contains some really good information, and is worth reading to gain a background on the subject, but I'd desperately like to update it.

Peter Huston
===


http://import.book.store.bg/product/id-0595187544/tongs-gangs-and-triads-chinese-crime-groups-in-north-america.html

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Tongs, Gangs, and Triads: Chinese Crime Groups in North America
Peter Huston
ISBN: 0595187544
Издател: Authors Choice Press
Дата на издаване: 06-2001 г.
Страници: 270
Език: English
Корица: Мека
Наличност: В наличност

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The so-called “Chinese Mafia” has earned a reputation as one of the fiercest and most brutal in the seedy underworld of organized crime. Yet does such an organization even exist? Or is there instead a wide variety of “Tongs, Gangs, and Triads” stretching across not just Asia and North America, but the globe?

Although such groups are most notorious, perhaps, for their control of the lucrative Southeast Asian drug trade, they are also known for involvement in illegal immigration, smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, home invasions and crimes of all sorts.

How much of this is Hollywood hype and how much is reality? And how can law enforcement and other interested parties overcome cultural barriers and gain an understanding of a criminal element that shrouds itself in secrecy – a secrecy that has proved to be its strength for centuries?

This book explores the rich Chinese tradition of tongs, gangs, triads and secret societies and their frequent involvement in organized crime, as well as their more recent and growing collusion with Chinatown street gangs. The result is a work that provides an excellent introduction to not just Chinese crime groups, but Chinese culture and history in general.



Author's Comments
I am the author of this book. This is an unedited, copyright 2001 reprint copy of the original 1995 Paladin Press edition. Therefore clearly it's a bit dated. The intent of this book was to fill the gap between academic tomes on the subject (such as the works of Ko-lin Chin and other scholars) and provide a non-sensationalized, easily accessible book for a reader with a general background and a need to understand the subject. (i.e. it explains terms like "Hakka dialect" and "Qing dynasty," etc., instead of assuming the reader knows them, and also contains large sections explaining Chinese and other Asian cultures in generalized terms.) In that respect, I think the book was a success and it has received positive feedback from Los Angeles gang officers and US Immigration department officials. On the other hand, the book is seriously dated in many places and, especially since I've gone to graduate school and earned an MA in Asian Studies from Cornell, there are things I would now do differently were I to write it again. Still I think the book serves a purpose and I often find myself referring people to read sections of it. Therefore, despite the fact that there are portions that desperately need an update, I have decided to leave it in print. I just wish readers to know that there are more current sources of information on the subject although this book, in my opinion, fills a niche that many others do not.

(And the four stars? Well, I had to put something there. The system demands it.)

Peace and thanks for your interest in this book.
Ho hum
I found this book to be adequate as an overview of Asian OC but lacking in any human dimension. People, whether they are Chinese or anything else, get involved in gang activity for a myriad of reasons, none of which are explored with any degree of insight in this book. If you know absolutely nothing about the subject, you might find it useful. But if you're looking for a deeper understanding try anything by Ko-Lin Chin ("Chinatown Gangs") or "Born to Kill" by T.J. English.
A Reader
A fine tome and welcome addition to a poorly researched field. I have personally met one fellow who was once part of a Chinese criminal gang, and Huston's book meshes well with that account.

The book does primarily focus upon the history and orientation of the regional concept (organized criminal societies and their close cousins, secret societies) rather than the day to day affairs. Insofar as this is not a Peter Druckeresque explaination of the inner workings of the what is being described, a serious police investigator or scholar will have to make do with _Tong, Gangs, and Triads_ as the best place to start. The selected bibliography is alone worth the shelf space with any comitted researcher.

Also, although I have not personally seen them, the academic reviews were reported to me to have been in agreement with this personal assessment.
Very general information
While I understand the inability of caucasians to get the "inside scoop" on the Tongs and Triads, this book could have been better researched. Many crucial items are left out, such as organizational structure, the "who-does-what" positions, and maybe even some first hand accounts, as has been done and done well by La Cosa Nostra researchers. Very general overview with little hardcore information.
In depth study of Chinese gang activity in North America
This book provides very interesting cultural information which leads to an in-depth understanding of Chinese gang activity in North America. It concludes with some suggestions for decreasing that activity. This book would be useful for people employed in criminal justice and for students in that field as well as for anyone interested in having a better understanding of Chinese culture in this hemisphere.

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